Wisdom— Some Questions

Is wisdom the rock of ages
inscribed on some stone tablet—
lessons to guide us through our lives?

Or is wisdom waves of water
ever-changing that cannot be
bottled or held firmly in our hands?

Or is wisdom some vaporous
vagabond without shape or form
that can't be confined or defined?

Is wisdom distilled knowledge from
the teachings of ancient wise men
with insight, good sense, and judgment?

Does wisdom reside in the brain,
the heart, or the gut, or perhaps
not in the body but the soul?

If "older-and-wiser" is true,
why did Christ say "the child is
greatest in the kingdom of heaven"

If "wisdom is more precious than rubies",
why was The Book of Wisdom
left out of the King James Bible?

Why is the Allegory
of Wisdom always portrayed
as a woman and not a man?

If light symbolizes knowledge,
how come a bird of the night,
the owl came to stand for wisdom?

If you consult the Tarot deck
whom would you trust— the Magus,
Hermit, High Priestess, or the Fool?

Beware of Keys to Gates of Wisdom—
Did not the Cumaean Sibyl guide
Aeneas through the wrong door?

            — Peter Y. Chou
                Mountain View, 3-18-2010

Robert Lewis Reid (1862-1929)
Wisdom (1896)
Mural, Second floor, North corridor
Library of Congress, Thomas Jefferson Building
Washington, D.C., Caption underneath reads
"Knowledge comes but Wisdom lingers"