Me? I am Geoffrey.
‘Any time that we move from personal names to abstract labels or graphs or statistics, we are less in touch with reality and diminished in capacity to deal with what is best and at the centre of life. … For a name addresses the uniquely human nature. A name recognises that I am this person and not that person.’*
When we find ourselves living increasingly within our roles and titles and functions, or the expectations of others or of self, we become less than who we are.
A long time ago my parents named me. Many years later I was named again, by a group of people who had come to know me well. The way it worked, I could not name myself, but could accept or reject the group’s name for me:
“To be called by his true name is part of any listener’s process of becoming his true self. We have to receive a name by others; this is part of the process of being fully born.”**
We all need moments when we are able to simply rest in who we are. And when we are who we are, then we can know what we want to make:
‘[Cézanne] knew that the mind makes the world, just as a painter makes a painting.’^
(*From Eugene Peterson’s Run With the Horses.)
(**Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy, quoted in Eugene Peterson’s Run With the Horses.)
(^From Eugene Peterson’s Proust Was a Neuroscientist.)