Saturday, 30 May 2015

What's in a Name?

"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet".  True, but the name 'rose' is for all time connected with that loveliest of flowers, so that now no other name would do.

My good friend Jean Rolt of "Tregear Vean" who is currently awaiting surgery to remove a growth on her face, brought home to me very sharply the importance of names.

In a recent post she blogged that giving the 'wart' with which she has lived for years a title has totally changed her perception of it.

Have names really such power?  Yes, I think they have.

Someone living in an abusive relationship which has become habitual, often fails to recognise it for what it is and when finally brought to realisation by an outside source will at first deny and only then become shocked by it being named.

My late husband who had been unwell for many years was finally diagnosed with the disease which killed him, was completely unprepared for the naming of his disease, and from that day onward began to live differently, much more fearfully than before.

On an apparently different level, when i was singing back in the sixties and seventies, I was almost paralysed by fear when faced with the prospect of an audition.  Yet, if someone, no matter how exalted or famous said to me "come and sing this to me", I was relaxed and able to perform at my best.  Is the word 'audition' really so terrifying?

People who have done a particular job for many years without any real recognition of their efforts will be overwhelmed by the job being given a title.  The job will remain the same, but the person who does the job will be for ever changed.

So, what  is in a name?


  1. A beautiful post Ray! Very thought provoking ...well done!

    1. Thank you Jean. Sometimes ideas crowd in from nowhere and other times I am scratching around for a single thought.

  2. Thanks for this, it has made me think . Like you I am or have been in the Doldrums as my husband has been awaiting the name for his symptoms. (he needs heart surgery)We know where we are now , but the name doesnt help. It just makes younger members of the family Google it, and I just don't want to know what it says.

    It does however hearten me to know that the beginning of the Bible is all about naming . I know too that although talking about Israel , the phrase 'I have called you by name you are mine' (Isaiah 43) is helpful , and especially if I read on to the next verse. Love to you Ray, you are special person to me , even though we have never met. Keep posting your thoughts.

    1. Thank you Margaret for your current and past words of support.
      Kindness is a valuable commodity and support verbal or other the basic stuff of life.
      I hope your husband's condition will improve and pray he gets the surgery he needs.
      Every blessing to you both.

  3. A very perceptive post, Ray. I remember that when my father was in his final illness my mother kept the true nature of it hidden from him, because he so much didn't want to know. She knew that naming it would destroy his peace of mind and instead they had a very happy final year together, despite his increasing weakness. Naming doesn't always help.

  4. No, I think there is a sort of finality about the naming of things, which means there is no going back from that point.
    We're not all heroes.