“You know, I’m not sure syncretism is quite the right word,” says Wen eying the icon of Gilgamesh with some trepidation.
We are in the British Museum doing ‘research’ as Wen likes to call it.
‘Pick up your staff and pen,’ she said, ‘we have work to do.’
Which means in Wen-Speak, among other things, more churches…
“Your doubts are probably well founded. Mr Graves called it ‘iconotropy’ – turning religious iconography to new religious purpose.”
“Oh, him again. No one knows who Robert Graves is.”
“Well, they should! Anyway, in ‘King Jesus’ he has a Priestess of Astarte and Joshua-ben-Miriam go through a whole series of cave-bound images with each of them giving a different yet perfectly valid interpretation of the self same icon.”
“Inscribed in a cave.”
“It hardly seems possible.”
“Religious interpretation, I should have said.”
“It still hardly seems possible.”
“Why isn’t anything, anything else?”
“You’re being obscure again,” says Wen.
“It’s what we bring to the table!”
“I like that,” says Wen, looking slightly perturbed as I hone in with a Gob-Stopper to hand.
“ifzattthicklynekxazzery,” says Wen, her mouth full of Gob-Stopper.
“Our own journey is entirely imaginary,” I continue in my obscure way, “that is its strength. Longman says so and he’s never wrong.”
“Oooh, the Long-Man of Wilmington,” says Wen having now unceremoniously discarded the Gob-Stopper, “now there’s a thought.”
“So that’s that then…”