I was speaking to a friend at the beginning of the week and he told me a story about an encounter with an author whom I had loved to read at the age of seventeen. The author had had the courage to reveal the shields of the North American tribe from which he stemmed and share their stories with the outside world. He paid with his eyesight.
We were talking about names when this came up – and I realized I have always loved my own name. He was rather surprised as a lot of people he knew had had trouble accepting the name given them by their parents and had, at some stage in their lives, dreamt about changing it.
He then told me one of the stories this author had shared with him.
A young boy was out walking with his grandfather when he asked, ‘Grandfather, what is a name?’ The old man looked up at the wind rustling through the tops of the trees, was silent for some time before replying,
‘A name, my boy, is something with which you can touch someone.’
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