Utnapishtim's wife, out of pity for the weeping king devastated at not having the secret shared with him after traveling so far, convinced her husband to tell Gilgamesh the secret. Before telling Gilgamesh where the Everlasting-Life-giving plant could be found he shared with him the story of how he came to have Everlasting Life. That which Gilgamesh perceived as a blessing was nothing but a curse given by the Gods to Utnapishtim as a punishment for having escaped the Flood They brought about to destroy humanity. Utnapishtim's story of perpetual loneliness and of having to witness (forever) human suffering and death on a variety of scales convinced me of the foolhardiness of the pursuit of Everlasting Life. But not Gilgamesh; he was not convinced. He chose to go in quest of the plant that would give him immortality, but that...is another story.
[Photographic Art by Ric Couchman]