Albion, ancient sites, Stuart France

Riddle Me Ree…

*

The device of riddling is common to most traditional cultures.

Maidens set riddles for their suitors:

‘What is sweeter than mead…?’

‘What is whiter than snow…?’

‘What is lighter than a spark…?’

*

Antagonists use riddles to settle their disputes:

‘Forty white horses on a red hill first they gnash then they champ then they stand still…?’

‘What is blacker than the raven…?’

‘What is swifter than the wind…?’

*

Divinities play hide and seek with their devotees within the miasmic form of riddles:

‘What dances on the surface of the water…?’

‘What good did Man find on earth that God did not…?’

‘What is sharper than the sword…?’

*

A riddle is one thing, or a collection of things, described as another thing, or a different collection of things.

It is an extended metaphor without its point of reference.

To solve a riddle is to gain clarity and rid one self of confusion.

‘Thunder before lightning… Lightning before cloud… Land parching rain… Give me a name.’

*

Solving a riddle allows one to recognise one thing in another and so transcend one or more of the polarities or categories that apparently govern the perceived world through language and thought.

A riddle then simultaneously highlights the rigidities of language and its potential flexibilities.

“A shepherd stands in a field with twenty sheep, how many feet?”

*

Riddles act like little bundles of experience to be untied by the still uninitiated.

The riddler knows something that you do not yet know…

Riddles straddle two or more different frames of reference.

Landscape features are given human attributes and provide ample food for the riddler.

‘I run never walk… My mouth never talks… My head never weeps… In my bed, I never sleep.’

*

The answers are rarely if ever immediately obvious…

Their solution requires contemplation.

Just like crossword clue solutions they are though obvious once you know them.

Unlike crossword clue solutions, there is more often than not a very practical purpose to their solution.

If a landscape can have human features then, why can’t a human have landscape features?

10 thoughts on “Riddle Me Ree…”

  1. I LOVE this! Can’t wait to read another one . . . I have always loved to try to solve things. It would not be easy though with a country I have never lived in, or riddles about things I am not familiar with. Still, trying to figure out history’s mysteries has always been a past-time, and I think some of those things are like mysteries.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I would make most people crazy when I am trying to solve something because I will go over and over and over it again until at last something (and it may not be the right thing) comes to me. I am so persistent that former clients of mine used to call me “The Bulldog” because they figures that I would forget something I found in my quality assurance consulting work, but I would remember it and come back two or three times until they got it changed. I guess they actually were glad in the end result for I saved them a lot of moola and prevented a loss of satisfaction from their clients too. I think that is why I would have loved to have been a Cryptographer, and why I love Forensics and other similar things like The Silent Eye. Well, OK, perhaps a stretch in being similar to the other things, but there ARE a lot of mysteries we try to figure out. . .

      Liked by 2 people

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