I've gone through several names during this temporary visit to Earth. My parents wanted to name me Adam, but then I was a girl. So my birth name was Nicola. Shortened to Nicky, then Niki.
Then I got another name, actually a whole new persona, an alter ego, and this name was Rivka, not even a name I've ever liked very much. But many, many people feel tender and warm about the Rivka person: she is a doula and birth attendant, and a friend, and a teacher/mentor.
Toni Morrison has the same problem:
"Toni Morrison was born Chloe Wofford, and still thinks of that as her real name. She picked up the nickname “Toni” in school (from her saint’s name, Anthony), and Morrison was the last name of her long-ago ex-husband. To this day, she deeply regrets leaving that now world-famous name on her first novel". NYMag
"Myself is kind of split. My name is Chloe. And the rest is… that other person. Who is able to feel, or pretends to feel, or maybe really feels, or at least reacts to celebrityhood. " (The Guardian Interview)
So, we're stuck with names we didn't ever really grow in to, and I am always grateful for Niki, who keeps me grounded and reminds me of who I really am.
Niki runs, and sails, and plans things for next week, and says she'll be there in five minutes. She drinks a wee bit too much, and swears a little too much, and she wants to live in many places for the rest of her life, and thinks Rivka is a bit of a weirdo, and a bit of a wuss.
I am so grateful I'm me, and her, and them.
I have an assortment of interesting classes, workshops and get-togethers happening at my cafe over the next few months. Here's...
birth doula love doula training natural birth doulas midwife The Birth Conspiracy doula course refugees Italy babies Montreal birth companions Lunigiana midwives Bali Greece c-section MBC Doula School birth attendant book breastfeeding Africa cesarean section change gentle birth gratitude illegal midwives death epidural Rivka Cymbalist Syria VBAC birth abuse doula training Montreal fear and birth healing hospital midwifery mothers running volunteer Curioso Books Montreal doula course Montreal doula training Tuscany apprentices birthing community midwifery education mother and child normal birth writing Birth Conspiracy Egypt abusive maternity care baby big babies birth and death birth and fear birth attendants birth blues birth stories experts fear homebirth induction epidemic joy labor meconium peace radical doulas respect woman's power workshops Aleppo Canada Festa della Donna alphabet birth keepers birth process blessings burnout cafe call for doulas calm camps compassion faith friends happiness heart herbs home birth hormones independent publishing justice life marathon meditation menopause mother radical retreat se non ora quando storytelling wisdom CaffedellaPace God St John's Wort abuse acceptance aging ask the doula aspiring midwives bad luck balance barter beauty belief belonging birth books birth dance birth rape birthing herbs births body cement feminism half marathon home death mindfulness race racing radical birth yoga