“Whereupon we could see her working upon her great web all day long, but at night she would unpick the stitches again by torchlight…”

Eastman Kodak Company, “Picture Taking At Night” (1932)

Ulysses had been long gone, and we were courting his wife, who did not say point blank that she would not marry, nor yet bring matters to an end, for she meant to compass our destruction: this, then, was the trick she played us. She set up a great tambour frame in her room and began to work on an enormous piece of fine needlework. ‘Sweethearts,’ said she, ‘Ulysses is indeed dead, still, do not press me to marry again immediately; wait- for I would not have my skill in needlework perish unrecorded- till I have completed a pall for the hero Laertes, against the time when death shall take him. He is very rich, and the women of the place will talk if he is laid out without a pall.’ This is what she said, and we assented; whereupon we could see her working upon her great web all day long, but at night she would unpick the stitches again by torchlight. She fooled us in this way for three years without our finding it out, but as time wore on and she was now in her fourth year, in the waning of moons and many days had been accomplished, one of her maids who knew what she was doing told us, and we caught her in the act of undoing her work, so she had to finish it whether she would or no; and when she showed us the robe she had made, after she had had it washed, its splendour was as that of the sun or moon.

The Odyssey (Tr. by Samuel Butler)

And I need you more than want you
And I want you for all time
And the Wichita lineman
Is still on the line…

 

Jimmy Webb – Wichita Lineman

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