"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet" says Romeo to Juliet in the play of the same name.

I'm not sure I agree, though.  I have a complicated relationship with the Naming of Things™.  

Taoism refers to names as ming, and views them as a necessary, yet limited tool.  Take the word water.  "Water" isn't water, it's just a series of sounds.  The feeling of rain on your face, the smell of the ocean, floating in a lake, or chugging down a cold glass of it, on a hot day all those are more water than "water".  

What's more, naming often  implies a kind of judgment.  Am I tall?  Compared to my friend Maya, yes, very much so.  Enough so that when we have danced together at weddings, she's had to stand on a chair.  (It's fun.)  Compared to say the Washington Monument though, I'm not very tall at all.  

It sounds like naming is a shoddy thing at best.

However, as both an author, and a Very Silly Person™,  there's another side to all this.  I LOVE words, and names.  I love seeing aspects of things and calling attention to them, or playing around with the sweet sounds of something's name.  I often give people nicknames, or somehow twist language to make it my own.  

I especially love it when this is done to me, and for me.  My love of sharks is well known.  Over the years friends of mine have called me Sharkman, Mr. Sharkman, Shark Boy, Fish Boy, all sorts of endless variations on that theme.  Just this past weekend, my friend Michael sent a text to Maya, whom I was visiting, to tell her that the "Heart of Sharkness" was almost there.

It just tickled me.  Such a sweet, loving thing.

AuthorMako Allen
Categories365 Gratitude