Gollum is a fictional anti-hero from the trilogy “The Lord Of the Rings”. He is a distorted character, twisted by isolation, greed and abuse. A once proud Hobbit, Gollum fell from grace because of the dangerous attraction of the “One Ring”, an evil talisman destined to give its possessors unimaginable power, albeit at the expense of their souls. Ruined by the evil ring, Gollum is both physically and mentally changed for the worse, becoming a sad parody of a Hobbit, barely able even to speak normally.
And so I share with you Gollum’s word, “Tricksy”. Along with his favourite phrase, “my precious” to describe the “One Ring” this word becomes a means of identifying him by the way he speaks. Use “tricksy” in a sentence well any fellow nerd like myself and they will know immediately who you’re referring to.
Each of us has an identifying phrase or two, a word or expression that others identify with us. Hearing those words, from them or from others, identifies who they are and what they mean to us.
These little identifiers speak to more than reminding us of a person; they speak as well to our relationship with them, why they matter to us and even how close we are to us. Gollum’s “tricksy” instantly brings to mind his flaws and imperfections, not because of the words meaning, but because of its distortion. There is no one else quite like him, and once you meet him in J. R. R. Tolkien’s books or the movie version of “The Lord of The Rings” you will never forget this “tricksy” character.
They might seem like simple, unique phrases to us, part of the rhythm of our speech and thought process, but certain things we say identify us to others as readily as our names. They help others remember us. And, just like with Gollum’s “tricksy”, they trigger not just our faces, but our entire character.
What word or phrase do you use frequently enough that others know you when they hear it? Who is the person that comes to mind when your phrase comes up in conversation? Does a reminder of you others to smile when they are reminded of you or does it cause other reactions? Do they think of a sad Gollum, or maybe a certain special Son, whose name is synonymous with love and compassion?
I would like to think that when someone identifies me by a word or phrase, that they would find something good and Christlike within us, something loving, caring and helpful. So, what about you?