Non omnes qui habent cithram sunt citharoedi.
(Varro, De Re Rustica, 2.1.3)
Not all those who have lyres are lyre players.
(pron = nohn OHM-nays kwee HA-bent KIH-trahm soont kih-trah-OI-dee)
Comment: Varro also says in this work on farming and life in the countryside:
No one can know everything. And so this proverb for today is an example of
that. Not everyone who owns a guitar or a piano is an accomplished musician.
Not everyone who owns a set of golf clubs is a pro player. Not everyone who
owns a computer is a master at internet technology. And so it goes.
But I do love to get my feet wet in many rivers. And I have. And I will
continue to. It makes life more interesting to taste everything on the table,
so to speak. One of my grandfathers was legendary in his response at holiday
dinners when asked which kind of dessert he would have: a little piece of
everything—and for him that was no metaphor. This was a man who had a very
hard childhood, and a very hard-at-labor adulthood. You could look at his life
and know that he did not enjoy many things. But, he knew the joy of tasking “a
little piece of everything sweet”.
Aren’t there some things in the world around us today that have caught our
attention—things which we know we would love to know more about, experience
more completely, partake of more regularly—or just try out once? As long as
they are not illegal or harmful, why not? I am pretty sure that Varro was
interested in focusing in on the things necessary for good farming, and so in a
more ancient way, was networking among his fellow farmers for “best practices”.
Which makes a point: if everyone does the same thing all the time, there are no
best practices to share—only a very small, very limited little world to live in.
Everyone who owns a lyre may not be a lyre player. And everyone cannot know
everything. By the way, anyone know where I might find a good second hand
(Used with permission)
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