9. Appeasing Problems
Qəne has a way of presenting a painful topic or memory in a soothing way bringing a smile to one’s face. This may seem trivial but one is only reminded of the proverb ‘There is no use crying over spilled milk’ after the fact.
ሀ. Zäʾämlakəye of ʾäläqa Mänbäru
ህጻነ ቤተ ጊጋር ሰይፍ እንተ ፍተ ኅብስት ኢጸግበ፣
ተውሃለዎ በሀበ አርሴማ ከዋኒት ጠባበ፣
ሰቆቃዎ ይኅድግ ለሊሃ እስመ ወሀበቶ ጥበ፡፡
The child of the House of Gigar/ sword who hasn’t had enough morsel of bread
Was fooled by the wise and astute Arsema
Since she has breast-fed him to soothe his troubles.
The Säm tells us that if a child cries for not being full after eating, the wise mother will breast feed him to calm him. Likewise for the Wärq, the un-sated sword which cuts down arms and legs went on to cut Arsema’s breasts for her unwavering stand of her faith.
The heathen king of Armenia asked the nun Arsema to marry him. When she refused due to her religious belief, he cut her breasts and killed her.
ሀ. Mäwädəs (3ኛ መጽሐፍ ገጽ 195)
ሠናይት ሰይፍ ዘማ ተጋድሎ
ፍቅረ ሰብእ ብዙኀ መኑመ ወሀበኪ፣
አምጣነ ድቡተ ሖረ ሶበ ነፀረኪ፣
አቢብ ዘበልቡናሁ ፈተወ ሥነኪ፣
ወእንዘ ትትዋነዪ ምስለ ዝኩ፣
ቀፀበኪ ሉቃስ ወቶማስ ሰዐመኪ፣
ሖሰሂ ርእሰ ዚአሁ ቃለ ዐዋዲ ምትኪ፣
እስመ ሰምዐ ውስተ እዝኑ ከመዘካርያስ ለመድኪ፣
ወበፈረሱ መርምሕናም ሶበ ወሰደኪ፣
ፈጸመ ገጻቲሁ ዲዲሞስ ፍቁርኪ፡፡
Beautiful adulterer of struggle/ sword
Who gave you so much love?
Because he walked bent over when he saw you
The young man/ Abib who was captivated by your beauty
And while you were making passes at him
Luke made a gesture towards you and Thomas kissed you
And your husband / John the Baptist shook his head
Because he heard that you are too familiar with Zachariah
And when Marmenham took you on his horse
Your beloved Didymus screwed up his face.
Just like a beautiful harlot has many men visiting her, the martyrs are in love and spending more time with the sword. The young man who was walking bent over represents Abib who spiked a sword on the ground and pierced himself on it. Luke beckoning the woman represents his cut-off hands and Thomas’ kiss stands for his lips being slashed. John heard that the sword was familiar with his father Zachariah, this stands for both of them losing their head to the sword. The shaking of John’s head represents his head moving by itself after it was hacked off.
kuləkəmu Mäwädəs (3ኛ መጽሐፍ ገጽ 64)
እግዚአብሔር ኄር እለ ወሀበኒ፣
ሕዋሳተ ሥጋ አግብርት ኢተአዘዙኒ ሊተ፣
እንዘ እግርየ አሐዱ የማናዊተ ፍኖተ፣
የሐውር እስመ ሖረ፣
እግርየ ካልኡ ኀዲጎ ርትዕተ፣
አዛዚሆሙ ልቡና እስመ ኀለፈ ወሞተ፣
ርእዩኒሂ ከመ ዐማፂ እንተ ኀደገ ሥርዓተ፣
ወከመ ዘኢሰምዐ ዕዝነ ልቡ መጻሕፍተ ቅዱሳተ፣
እምዘ ነበበ ዳዊት እንዘ ይጼሊ ጸሎተ፣
ሰብዓ ወሰማንያ ዐሥሮን ክራማተ፣
አኮኑ አትረፍኩ ወአስተቃረብኩ ምእተ፡፡
ሰብዓ ወሰማንያ ዐሥሮን ክራማተ፡፡
What the good lord has bestowed on me
My bodily senses / servants are not following my commands
One of my legs is going to the right
Because the other one straying from the straight path
Is on the left path
This is because their master/ the mind has really died.
Look at me, just like a rebel disdaining all regulations
And like one who has not heard the Good Book
As David said when he was praying
Seventy and eighty years, by ten years
I have passed and I am nearing a hundred.
When a person of a good means loses his wealth, all his faithful servants will leave him and scatter to the left and to the right to find other means of employment. Likewise recalling Psalm 90:10 “We live to be about 70. Or we may live to be 80, if we stay healthy. But all that time is filled with trouble and sorrow. The years quickly pass, and we are gone.” The BaläQəne is telling us that he is nearing a hundred and his mind is deteriorating and that his other senses are almost not working.
One might ask what is saddening about this Qəne describing the natural process of aging. I was thinking the same thing before I met an old man who gave me the following advice. “My child, since you are youthful your body functions well and it is easy for you to accomplish tasks. So it is hard for you to understand the failing of the body and the senses that comes with old age. How would you feel if somebody that is close to you betrays you? Wouldn’t you feel sad?” I told him I would feel sad. He continued by saying, “What is closer to you than your own body? So how would you feel when your body that is supposed to serve you betrays you?”