The Pope, who can be said to personify “Our hope is in the Lord”–schooled as I am in a Protestant belief, I feel most would agree with me? However, I read that he is the first head of the Catholic church to resign in a long, long time; speculation is now on who–perhaps a South American cardinal– might be the next Pope.
The word ‘speculation’ gives this formerly active English professor pause–a pause to find what is the ‘root’ word of speculate, meaning by ‘root’ the Latin word from which this modern word speculate derives. In the Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary, a volume as thick as a man’s hand is broad, the word means ‘watch tower'(noun) or ‘look’ (verb). A bit further down the page is the Latin ‘speculum’, meaning a mirror; in our modern rage to strip words of what we think is excess baggage we use the word ‘spec’ to describe what , for instance, a home builder does in hopes of selling what he/she creates in order to make a living.
So I see a relationship of speculate to hope. An aura more than slight around the words–both of them–that the hope might be risky. And in the Pope’s realm of influence there is a risk, which one might agree is more than slight, of going to Hell rather than to Heaven. In fact, it seems fair also to say that those of the Pope’s ilk, be they Catholic or Protestant or whichever sect comes to mind, make the fear of going to Hell a strong, very strong reason for putting their hope in the Lord.
So what seemed like a digression by the old English professor might not be that far off?
Wait–as they say on TV about the water hose that stretches, or the rug guaranteed not to move over the wooden floor–there’s more!
Y’betcha–remember the title adds Barry to the Pope. But this is getting a bit long for a Post, so more tomorrow.
Meantime, if you havent’ Googled Poe’s The Gold Bug, give it a go!