Saturday, April 06, 2013

Secrets . . .


I'm still reading Mary Ruefle's Madness, Rack, and Honey, and I just finished the chapter "Secrets," in which she writes:
The words secret and sacred are siblings. (p. 81)
Wonderful alliteration. A wonder is also sacred, though not all so sacred as it once was, before its secular wound, which will not heal, what used to be "not become whole," a resonance of holy, and we are back to sacred. And secret. And siblings. All so sibilant.

Secret has deep roots:
Middle English, from Old French, from Latin sēcrētus, from past participle of sēcernere, to set aside : sē-, apart; see s(w)e- in Indo-European roots + cernere, to separate; see krei- in Indo-European roots
The meaning "to set aside" comes close to the meaning of the Hebrew word for holy, qodesh, "to set apart," and is, anyway, the meaning given for sacred: "Dedicated to or set apart for the worship of a deity."

So . . . a secret, set apart, is sacred . . .

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