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Speaking of names . . .

Blog post
Published: 17.06.2009


I thought I’d call her Leaf.  When I first met Matilda, she was still too young to leave her mother; so small, so light and fragile-looking, pale brown, the colour of a dried leaf.
Now I see that would have been an inappropriate name for a cat who has grown into a lithe creature, dark glossy brown, robust and given to spectacular acrobatic feats.

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A wise old Kazak carpet seller I became friends with in Istanbul had a theory about names. If a person is called a certain name from birth, they will become that name. Though interested, my doubt was obvious. We tested this, first on Margaret. His analysis was disconcertingly accurate. He asked me the names of my mother, father, brother, husband, two sons. Each character he described fitted like a glove.

A sceptic from childhood, I was incredulous, intrigued, almost convinced.

From (and possibly before) birth we respond to the sounds around us: to the voices of our parents and others, and to music, so why not to an oft reiterated collation of vowels and consonants, applied to us on a regular (how many times a day?) basis.

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Now I work on new brooches. I use words. I write and draw towards them; but I seldom name pieces until they are complete. Perhaps I will name these in advance and watch them develop into their names. This may take some time. There are no deadlines looming . . . yet.

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(Mathilda was an English queen in the eleventh century.
Margaret was a Scottish queen in the eleventh century.
What do you think, little one? Are we cousins?)





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