Thursday, August 12, 2010
Wisdom is a woman, to the classics. Personified in Athena, wisdom is the disheveled war-goddess. She is the Proverbial virgin bride, more precious than jewels. I don't feel the same about wisdom as Solomon or Homer seem to. I don't envision wisdom a gentle, earthy goddess. I don't see a quiet, nurturing woman. I see the old, wrinkled man with long, frizzy white hair and a lengthy beard. His forehead is furrowed; he wobbles on a wooden stick. He is Gandalf the Gray; he is Dumbledore. He is Merlin in his forest cabin, with thousands of books lining his shelves, readily available to be pulled out when an eager pupil seeks the knowledge he possesses. He is The Giver, who holds every truth, every memory, and with the pressing of his fingertips to my temples he can share it all with me. It's a whimsical view of wisdom, a sort of magical, maybe childish view. but while the idea of this wise man evokes warm, hearty feelings, the idea of a wise woman makes me cringe.