Saturday, September 23, 2017

Friday, September 22, 2017

A designation, signifier, tag, label, epithet. Call someone by a name and you reduce them to the idea and implications that the sound represents.

In the fourth grade my teacher conducted a unit on the etymological origin of names and the deeper meanings. The name I was given at birth originated first in Scotland, but my parents' familiarity and fondness came out of darker, more recent locale. After three years struggling with infertility, my mother chose to name her first born "Bonnie" after a deceased woman she'd never met, who was thrown from a car and killed when my father fell asleep at the wheel. Her death occurred just two weeks prior to their wedding. Invitations had already been mailed.

Our teacher read through the baby name book—her reference material for this unit—calling out the listed meaning next to each of our names.



When Kelli was born, she was given the name of her father.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Cold start

I told her that while this malady runs its course we would write. She's a queue commitment of three papers on religious philosophy & gender, while I rarely give prose more than passing thought. I admit this is an odd shift for me, when in recent memory I began day in, day out peeling off two essays at a time. That compulsion produced years of journals, emails, and blogs, that dissipated into single entries on rare occasion, belabored poems, emoticon-laden texts. I'd say I don't know what happened, but I do. A stroke. The attention of dozens of strangers. The critical eye of biologically linked voyeurs. A death of faith. A love affair. Private fodder that I used to write about, but that seemed to gain little attention, suddenly open for public scrutiny. And because the meat of what I have to say is the soft underbelly of my fragile self, I grew cautious, nervous, burdened with the requirement to adequately explain—no, justify—the workings of my private life. Writing turned chore rather than a relief, a vulnerability instead of my strength and protection. When I started, I didn't have the slightest idea that I'd write anything anyone would fuss about, because when I started I was not fussed about. But I've told her I want to try again, especially when she requests that I address topics we regularly face. I need to write, for all the reasons I feel vulnerable. I don't know how to start, and so if for days at a time I write silly, disjointed dither, I apologize. The flimflam linguistic spurts often get the engine churning. At least that is the hope. 

Every day. Words.

You needn't read them. There's little here to fuss about.