The Chimaera

Why a chimaera, you ask?

The sort of chimaera (or chimera, the American English spelling) to which I am referring is not the Greek monster, although I’ll always leap at the chance to make a classics reference. That is the primary meaning, but a chimaera can refer to any mythical creature made up of disparate parts from various animals.

I think the term is also appropriate for someone with oddly disparate–or, at least, disparate seeming–beliefs and personality traits.  For instance, someone who is a Christian and a scientist and an artist and a writer and a wife and, last but not least, a proponent of all cute animals.  One of these traits does not overpower the others.  They all fit together, informing and influencing each other.  Or consider that most elusive of beasts, the American moderate, someone who feels that there is nothing contradictory in holding one strong opinion that is traditionally liberal and another strong opinion that is traditionally conservative at the same time.

A chimaera can also refer to an impossible fantasy, which also seems appropriate.

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