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Regular Meetings of
The Amalgamated Trust

an eXperimental essay
based on the teachings of Jim Dolan
© 2000 By J R Compton.
All Rights Reserved.

Being truly intimate by sharing fear and other emotional statements isn't easy, so I conceived the notion of having regular (weekly, monthly, whatever you both decide) meetings for people to discuss the matters that come up in relationships. And what do we call these meetings?

The title "The Amalgamated Trust." fell headlong into my mind while I was struggling with the interwoven concepts in that other essay. At that early date, I'd barely begun to consider definitions, which I've since learned often get in the way but are sometimes actually able to help some matters.

When those fateful words barged into my brain, I perceived them as a visual and tactile, engraved industrial letterhead from the 30s, I could already almost feel the striking contrast of a big, bold, masculine Amalgamated combined with the delicate, looping, feminine lightness of Trust.

The Amalgamated Trust


I also liked the balance of the simple, quick monosyllabic thrust of pink trust with the five-syllable consonantal, dark blue complexity of amalgamated. After some struggle, I imaged a logotype combining the two.

Above is my second, less successful attempt. The first was better, but I gave it to the other half of the first relationship I tried this process with, and we're not talking anymore. Oh, well... : |

Then I began exploring the dictionary — where I often find validating rationales for terms that have already bubbled up into my semi-concscious mind.

According to my CD-based American Heritage Talking Dictionary - Deluxe Edition, to amalgamate

is to combine into a unified or integrated whole; unite.

It further suggests I look at synonyms at mix:

blend, mingle, coalesce, merge, amalgamate, fuse.

My lexicon continues, teaching me that

these verbs mean to put into or come together in one mass so that constituent parts or elements are diffused or commingled.

It also introduces, in its second definition, the concept of

alloying a metal with mercury.

I recognize the

silvery-white poisonous metallic element, liquid at room temperature and used in thermometers, barometers, vapor lamps, and batteries... Atomic number 80; atomic weight 200.59; melting point -38.87 degrees C... valence 1, 2. Also called quicksilver.

But I much more strongly identify the process of amalgamation with capital-M Mercury, as used in Roman Mythology:

A god that served as messenger to the other gods and was himself the god of commerce, travel, and theivery.

Which explanation is still a little negative for my taste.

I remember Mercury, whom the Greeks called Hermes, instead, as the God of Communications. Because of that cosmic postman, astrologers ascribe to the first planet out from the sun the ability to affect communications.

( Be sure to read Jim Dolan's intriguing essay Hermes, The Trickster, The Messenger, the Thief, The Bringer of Dreams or The Healer? )

In this roundabout description of a meeting where sharing truths and fear statements is institutionalized, I have chosen largely to ignore the baser, impure and less valued of these concepts and definitions and rely, instead, on the conceit of small-m mercury as communications.

Thus, an alloy is

a homogeneous mixture or solid solution of two or more metals, the atoms of one replacing or occupying interstitial positions between the atoms of the other.

Again, my wont is to disregard:

3. the relative degree of mixture with a base metal; fineness

and entirely eschew:

4. Something added that lowers value or purity.

Interstitial is:

2. Relating to or situated in the small, narrow spaces between tissues or parts of an organ

which brings us back to some of the more physical aspects of romanctic relationships in general and in specific.

From a more solid, tome form of dictionary I remember learning that in order to free silver from rock, it is initially amalgamated — or alloyed — with mercury, which is then removed to yield the pure silver, truly a thing of beauty and value.


Trust is

1. Firm reliance on the integrity, ability, or character of a person or thing.

2. Custody; care.

3. Something committed into the care of another; charge.

4. a. The condition and resulting obligation of having confidence placed in one.

b. One in which confidence is placed.

5. Reliance on something in the future; hope.

6. Reliance on the intention and ability of a purchaser to pay in the future; credit.

7. Abbr. tr. Law. a. A legal title to property held by one party for the benefit of another.

b. The confidence reposed in a trustee when giving the trustee legal title to property to administer for another, together with the trustee's obligation regarding that property and the beneficiary.

c. The property so held.

8. A combination of firms or corporations for the purpose of reducing competition and controlling prices throughout a business or an industry.

That last concept, of course, was heavily contributory to my insistance upon amalgamating trust in the first place. Not, perhaps, an altogether positive view of these combined and combining concepts, but not spurious, either. It seemed at once a large and ungainly thing, an inherent, oxymoronic self-contradiction, and an odd amalgam —

2. A combination of diverse elements

— of pertinent terms.

Putting all these slippery notions together in a simply-stated, two-word idiom might be oversimplifying and probably oversimple. But that is likely why it thudded initially into my consciousness.

If you begin to understand the abstrusity

Difficult to understand; recondite. See Synonyms at ambiguous

and the perponderance

Superiority in weight, force, importance, or influence.

of the lexigraphic evidence, you might — as have I — conclude that a regular meeting of the Amalgamated Trust could be an amalgam of all these meanings, with the more negative concepts alloyed to a baser metal and removed.

What we are left with, then — after all the inherent ambiguity — is a meeting. Two people attend and forthrightly share their inner turmoil in the form of fear statements. And then they go on, having shared and continuing to share true intimacy.