A Snowflake on a Hot Summer’s Day

Posted: September 11, 2011 by Zachary in October 2010

A rose by any other name, does not, in fact, smell as sweet.  I’ll concede to Shakespeare only that the smell would be the same.  But sweetness fair Juliet spoke of, she smelled with her heart.

And the world over speaks of Montague and Capulet.  What is in these names?  ‘Tis, as our heroine’s wisdom suggests, not their anger, their love, nor any other part of their tragedy.  But a name is something.  And in it is something else.  For we would not have heard of such love, nor would it have had such celebration, were Romeo’s body to find a different name.

I dare to suggest, to such a beautiful Juliet, that her greatest and only beloved would have thrown away perfection itself, were he to bid his name away as she wistfully commanded.  And that is certainly was not what she wanted.

But how could she know?  How could she know that what made Romeo so perfect was not merely the intoxicating loin-spark of his lust, nor the scandal of his endless reach?  In his name was the forbidden fruit.  In his name was the very marriage that made him perfect.

I have tasted a name.  I have tasted many.  I keep them, like one would keep good books – on the shelf of a mind, where a heart can go from time to time to remember what it’s digested.

I have names that are fun games.  Simple memories.  I have names that carry the mantle of my deep anger and disappointment.  And I have names that conjure the impossible.  Names that have changed me.

I even have one or two that are legacies of emotion.

We all do.

I don’t think I should like a rose so much as if it was called something else, though it might smell just the same.  What’s in a name.  What’s in a name is whatever I give it.  Whatever you give it.  Whatever we give it.  And that gift is never nothing.

Shakespeare did not give the world 2 names.  He gave 2 names the world.  The world of love, of suffering, and of beauty.

And he let his namesakes be humble for him.  But they knew.  They knew like I know, and you know.  What’s in a name is far more than any one part of a (wo)man.  It is where we’re coming from.  It’s what will go forward.  It is where yesterday’s sunset meets tomorrow’s dawn.  It is where tragedy and comedy join hand in hand in constant orgasmic resolution.

It is where everything is important.  What’s in a name.

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