In order for there to be life, in order for there to be space on Earth for life to be, Nut, the sky, was ripped away from her husband Geb, the earth. She is held in place above us by her father and mother, Shu and Tefnut. But despite this, Nut struggles to get back to her husband; she struggles so hard that her mother is sometimes brought to tears.
Nut is the mother of the netjeru; of Ausir, Sutekh, Heru, Aset, and Nebhet. Because she was cursed by Re, she carried them long past her due date, suffering until Djehuty finally found a way to relieve her pain. Even then, her pain still wasn’t over; Sutekh himself was said to claw his way out of her.
Nut’s separation from Geb, and the pain that she subsequently felt due to it, is something that I think about every time I see the night sky.
And it sometimes strikes me that she must be very selfish; she needs Geb so badly that she tries to reach him, ignoring the potential consequences to life on earth.
But most of the time, I think of her being in a lot of pain; so much pain that she can’t think beyond herself. And if that’s the case, think of how cruel Re is towards her; forcing Shu and Tefnut to hold Nut away from Geb for eons, regardless of what that means she goes through.
Or, maybe it’s all of it at once. Nut is being selfish, Nut is in pain, Re is being cruel, and everyone is suffering, but at the same time life on Geb’s body must be allowed to continue living.
Perhaps I’m overthinking the myth. But it really strikes me what an ugly system that is; that, mythologically speaking, the world only exists because of Nut and Geb’s pain. I mean, taken metaphorically, what does that say about the nature of our world? Of the worlds that we build around us?
Maybe that “The nature of the world is pain”. I think that’d be a fair assessment, honestly. But I think a better assessment would be that “creation is the result of pain*”. Nut and Geb’s separation had a point; it wasn’t done senselessly, it was done in order to make the world habitable.
And this is something that I can see applied to our lives. For example, if you’re with a partner, and ultimately, that person is more harmful to you than beneficial (whether they mean to be or not), you have to pull yourself away from them, no matter how much that hurts. Or if you’re in a job that’s going to prevent you from doing what you want to do, so you have to quit.
OR it could be just another expression of how much the world sucks sometimes. I’m down with that too.
Anyway. That’s all I’ve got on that right now. I know this is pretty short, but thanks for reading. I appreciate your time. 🙂
*I mean, unless you’re Atum masturbating the world into existence, in which case, whatever; you do you. (haha, do you see what I did there?)