July 14-C, 2022

Late Light 05/03/2014 Oil Paint Rendered — Lake Marion, South Carolina
Looking up "caduceus" on Wikipedia, you will read:
"The caduceus is the traditional symbol of Hermes...
It is often used as a symbol of medicine, especially in the United States, despite its ancient and consistent associations with trade, liars, thieves, eloquence, negotiation, alchemy, and wisdom."

Which makes it a perfect symbol for me.
If you ask me to tell you who I am,
I will point you to a caduceus,
and say, "Here I am, this is me."

Hermes is the Greek name for the god
who was the messenger of the gods,
among other things, as above
(though his association with Dionysus,
wine and ecstasy is omitted).
"Hermes" is the origin of our word
"hermeneutics," for interpretation,
explanation, understanding, translation, etc.,
which is what preachers are paid to do,
and there are courses on Hermeneutics
in every theological seminary 
worthy of the name.

Need I bother to point out the other associations
among preachers and "liars, thieves, eloquence,
negotiation, alchemy and wisdom"?
Or, the obvious conflicts and contradictions
weaving in and through all these descriptions?

Which makes the caduceus an ideal 
representation of me--
even more-so when we take into account
that the Roman word for Hermes
is Mercury.

And, mercury is impossible to pin down,
fence in, pick up, nail in place, define,
explain, declare to be so...
Mercury cannot be said or told--
and cannot say straight out what needs to be said.
He is the Greek/Roman equivalent of the Tao,
in that "The Tao that can be said/told
is not the eternal Tao."

Clicking with me on yet another level.

And, need I say, however, that the caduceus
is also a perfect symbol of you
and all people everywhere?
For who among us is not a walking/talking
mutually exclusive
contradiction in terms?

We all are in that collection,
and if you think not, 
try this little exercise:
List all of what you consider
your pluses to be,
and alongside each plus,
note what polar minus you are
dismissing, discounting, disregarding,
denying, ignoring.

List them all.
It will rock your world
to know that you are indeed 
(And in deed)
one of us,
with contradictions aplenty.

Published by jimwdollar

I'm retired, and still finding my way--but now, I don't have to pretend that I know what I'm doing. I retired after 40.5 years as a minister in the Presbyterian Church USA, serving churches in Louisiana, Mississippi and North Carolina. I graduated from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, in Austin, Texas, and Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. My wife, Judy, and I have three daughters and five granddaughters within about twenty minutes from where we live--and are enjoying our retirement as much as we have ever enjoyed anything.

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