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The Importance of Naming


Many years ago — decades, in fact — I read a lot of books by Madeline L’Engle.  She was right when she wrote in “A Wind in the Door” about the importance of naming.

“Progo!” Meg asked. “You memorized the names of all the stars—how many are there?”
“How many? Great heavens, earthling, I haven’t the faintest idea.”
“But you said your last assignment was to memorize the names of all of them.”
“I did. All the stars in all the galaxies. And that’s a great many.”
“But how many?”
“What difference does it make? I know their names. I don’t know how many there are. It’s their names that matter.”

I have a new line of jewelry (named the Bubble Necklaces) that I’m not ready to share with the general public, and this morning I was naming the newest one. Instead of something like “Copper Wire-Wrapped Links with Russet Red Patina” I wanted to give it a real name, as if it were a person or a newborn baby.

That’s how I feel about these new pieces. Like they’re new babies. I still want to hold them close and not hand them off to other people yet.

Also, these are art jewelry and not commercial pieces. They come from a deeper place inside me where I’m not concerned with who will like them and if they will sell.

The first necklace told me its name immediately - Aerie. Another one is The Ghost and a third is Leather & Sky. The necklace I named this morning was originally called Bloody Bubbles, a name I rather like. I confess I have wimped out and renamed it Sanguine.

When I asked Google “What is sanguine?” Here was her* reply:

Cheerfully optimistic.
A blood-red color.
optimistic - sanguineous - hopeful - ruddy

Sanguine, the necklace, is silky smooth and light as a feather. She’s also hope-full that she will have many sister necklaces, earrings and bracelets.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

*Why do I think Google is a woman? Because she knows a lot and is willing to share it with everyone who will listen.


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