“Hello. My name is ……..”
“Pleased to meet you; I am ……”
Such gentle exchanges occur countless times everywhere every moment of every day, yet most of us trot along unmindful of its mercurial magic.
This familiar pleasantry / contact / engagement / distant kiss (call it what you will) is far more akin to two magic wands being tapped than to a casual exchange of taglines. It is neither, of course, but each tap, each touch, each simple exchange ignites a boundless swirl of ‘lets call this the magic‘. It impacts your course and mine from that moment on. Ask Newton. Just don’t let this realization freak you out – not quite yet! One such greeting, one such reach to get to know another, can change your life – completely! Ask Sara. All such exchanges impact us one way or another, though some in far more remarkable ways than others. But which one? And when? Who? And how?
Hello. My name is Neville.
A less frequent, less gentle, but equally as consequential an exchange happens in this fashion:
“I am (name). And you are?!” Lips twirled. Eyes curled.
It’s sometimes much the same as, “Who the hell are you?” or,
“Who gives a *bleep* who you are; get a load of me!”
In other words (roll the drums) someone’s rock just got dropped into somebody’s water – splash – but is that rock a boulder, is it a stone, or is it a pebble; and is that water a pool, a pond, an ocean, a river, a puddle, or just a splatter in a dry spot? A-hah! Who knows? Who cares? Ask Paulo. Ask Rabi. Ask Grace. Ask John and Steven. Ask Michael. Ask Mary. Ask Chance. (Geniuses – aye, great friends – we’ll meet along the journey.) With just one tap, consequence be damned, the magic is set loose. Off it goes rocketing through ‘whatever’ like an invisible ball down an invisible pinball machine. So, what does that matter? Ask Einstien. And I will tell you.
Take A Look at Freddie in this SKINS Video: “GETTING TO KNOW YOU”
Now let me draw your attention away from that mercurial magic and from that peculiar wand and from that familiar tap (whether that tap be fair or foul) to the tip that is the spark – bling – yes, the spark that holds the spell – bling – your name. Hello, my name is …hear the stardusts falling…
Behold, my friend, the magic’s flint!
Yep, there is something about your name, but what?
Legacy? History? Tradition?
Pride? Promise? A moment?
Shakespeare had something to say about this. (Play some music.)
Who steals my purse steals trash; ’tis something, nothing;
‘Twas mine, ’tis his, and has been slave to thousands;
But he that filches from me my good name
Robs me of that which not enriches him,
And makes me poor indeed.
Hmmm. Or could it be you have a name that holds no magic at all – no voo-va-voom, no oochie-wow, no chi-cha-ching, no pleased-to-meet-you, no hit-me-now, no caramba. Your name is just a tag: a blue tag, a red tag, a white tag, a green tag; a tag! It’s a leash, a tug, a placement card, a plug: an x in a spot.
So, what’s in a name?
Think of a name. Now ask yourself why that first name popped into your head. Bling! There is something in a name. Isn’t it?
The name is Bond.
My friend Andres was born in exile during the Nicaraguan revolution. Politics! He is in college. I grew up, lived, studied, traveled in different cultures around our globe. Not yet in South Africa! Not yet, sadly, anywhere in Africa, but many quite often readily presume so. I am a graduate. (Applause. Applause. More applause. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.)
But really, though, isn’t daily living the true Ivy League?
The real test of being, of becoming?
Ay-yai-yai! How do we excell there?
And what, pray tell, is the diploma?
The Name … The Name … The Name!
My friend, it is the Name – Your Name – My Name!
Andres, as was I, had a wide range of fascinating and intriguing experiences surrounding thousands of ‘what’s your name’ and ‘where are you from’, which begs research into this magical concoction which gods stir to keep themselves amused – this ‘getting to know you’.
Or, ARE WE JUST GETTING TO KNOW EACH OTHER TOO WELL?
As for Andres or me, I’ll leave our separate and various intrigues to your imagination. Perhaps, you won’t half imagine them; that’s my bet. But I shant put it past you. Since I am not yet acquainted with your experiences, it is easier to say my experience and boyish curiosity have taught me the most marvelous things. (I promise not to burden you with those). By way of introduction and to beckon you to accompany me on this unique journey – this Trek To Steinbeck’s Maze, here, in this video clip, is a teeney-weeney tidbit of our reaction to “What’s In A Name?” [ Andres is the face. I am The Voice.]
My name is Neville and I am pleased to meet you. Welcome to my garden.
Oh! Now that I have the privilege of your company, perhaps I ought to share a little secret. My family and friends live the world over. Most call me by my name. You know my name: Neville. Many well-meaning acquaintances call me by their interpretations of the sound of my name (Nevel, Nabil, Nebil, Navel, Nigel, Neil, Noel, Miles, Smiles, Negrail, and other delightful corruptions.) That’s okay. I know they mean no harm. I know it is me they are calling. I know my name. I usually answer with a smile. It’s all good. Right?
However, my mother has never called me by that name – Neville. Oh no! Never! Neither has my grandmother. Nor has my Papa. Never once! Yes, Neville is my name. It is also my father’s name. And it is his father’s name. I am proud of the name. It is my name. I like my name. Neville. But it is not my only name. Whenever I think to myself of myself, whenever I dream, whenever I imagine, and in my most intimate moments, and in all of my moments of ecstasy, Neville is not the name that comes to me or to my lips. Neville is rarely the name in my head. Now is that weird or what? Shhh. Don’t even think of freaking – freaking out is in our journey up ahead (in the valley through La Travahilla) and that is nothing of this sort. It seems I know me by the name my mother calls me.
I once told a dear friend this. I told him the name by which I know myself, the name my mother calls me. My friend allowed what I said to settle in his head for but a second then he shook his head violently and said, “Nah. You will always be Neville. You are Neville. That’s you. Neville. Nothing else fits. I can’t see you as anything but Neville. That’s it.”
Could it be that my magic is held in more than one name. I think so. And I think that that is awesome. What about you?
Hi there! Hello. My name is Neville. Welcome to our journey – you and I. Please. Have a sip. I’m very excited to meet you – well, not that kind of excited, at least not yet. Tell me a little something about you, ’cause we’ve got a scream of a fun ride coming up ahead (it had better be); and you’ll want me by your side. Wink-wink. Trust me. Because our mystery begins with a riddle: Bitter to the belly, slight to the mouth, sweet going in, stuck on the out; you want me. Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to: unravel the mystery; solve it; relate this to your personal mystery; solve that; and find the treasure as you follow your passion. I’m blogging The Journey dramatized and live.
All Aboard! All Aboard!