Thursday, December 25, 2008

We who have so much

cannot comprehend, but that we keep trying...

The Gift

The day my mother dropped a net
of oranges on the kitchen table
and the net broke and oranges
rolled and we snatched them,
my brother and I,
peeled back the skin and bit deep
to make the juice explode with our laughter,
and my father spun one orange in his palm
and said quietly, "This was Christmas, 1938,"
said it without bitterness or anger,
just observing his life
from far away, this tiny world
cupped in one palm,
I learned I had no way
to comprehend an orange.


Happy Thursday in December.
May you find your joy
in the day.


Saturday, December 6, 2008

The names we give

My mind has been pondering names a lot lately. The names we're given, the names we forget. As many of you know, the boy has been traveling his own path with names. The name we gave him at birth morphed into Joey as he became a bundle of energy and words. In the last year, as he discovered the world of Guitar Hero, the passion of rock music, he came down the stairs with a slip of paper, on it written his new name: Jos. It sounded edgier to him. Recently, he discovered the ElfQuest comic series and, after a character, has taken the name Cutter.  Cutter is so named because he has skill with a blade and cuts through deception to find the truth of a matter. 
We are, most of us, myself included, amused by this boy who chooses his own name. I wonder what happens if I deny him these names. If I refused Cutter, would I also refuse some part of him that wants to be brave, that desires to be strong and protect his loved ones. The name I call him does not matter so much to me, as I think he's an amazing being regardless of the word he's taken to describe himself. 
I wonder about those names we once wished for ourselves, and what happened to them. As a girl, I loved Kallie Marie. I suppose it sounded musical and unusual, coming from Jennifer Dawn. Later, in college, I was drawn to Xavier, my own edge and shadow. 
I ask, what name have you forgotten? Who have you hidden inside?