In my vision, Hermes bore a lamb wrapped at the shoulders. I was fully aware of him, of his figure in front of me–much taller and with frailer shoulders than I could have imagined. He was a silent man, although he was musical. He was the mediator of my soul.
He was the mediator of my soul, and he wore a lamb wrapped helplessly at the shoulders of his tunic. He didn’t grovel as I did. He stood upright, and he never beckoned, but suggested that I might want to rise from my supine position in the sand. He didn’t bother with the words I wrote there. They were of little interest to him because, despite my ideal, the words didn’t equate to my soul and personage. They weren’t the person who waited at the core of being.
At core, I was the lamb wrapped helplessly at the shoulders of his tunic. I have to say this. I have to proclaim this. Jung was wrong about the animus of my soul. He didn’t desire to usurp me, to overwhelm me with his masculine nature because, more than anybody, he understood the dark side of the soul. He understood the shadow self because he came face to face with it in the desert.
And my shadow self recognized his presence in my life, distinguished that he was the man who carried me. He carried me out of the cave where I wandered, or believed myself to wander, where I lost myself in darkness. He carried the lantern and led me out. Yes, I admit, for a long time, I didn’t notice the shoulders that bore me–until his hands set me down so that he could carry another. But he was my animus–my Hermes–my shepherd. How could he desert me?
How could he leave me in the shadows of my life? I couldn’t see well enough to make out the pastures, to make out the shadows of the valley of life. Hermes, how could you leave me in a place where the food and water are distant and indecipherable?
What can I decipher, but feelings, needs, wants: my need to wander out of the shadows, perhaps back in the cave where the walls, at least, offer a sense of comfort and closure–because there’s no closure here where there’s no present light for distinguishing a bed. Will you return to me if I play the instrument you left for me? Will you return and lead me through to the daylight if I bark out a few bleating notes?
My bleating voice is a cipher of nonsense, as nonsensical as the sand where I used to scratch out verses. Who am I without you? But he had no words for me, no comfort. I was without him. I was in that way that a human is, in need of a shepherd, and not understanding the words he wouldn’t speak.
The words he wouldn’t speak I spoke, and at that point, my vision of him rose up before me. He was Hermes, a shepherd with a lamb slung over his shoulders. He carried a lamb, and he carried me, but mostly he played his instrument and guided the music that hid itself in my heart. What does it mean to hold onto nothing and to hold onto the image of Hermes at the same moment? What does it mean to understand the words of his heart?
Mediator of my soul–rest in my dreams–light the music my soul longs to sing!