Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Grateful for N

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.

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