What to name the baby?
“The naming of cats,” wrote T.S. Eliot, “is a difficult matter.” He could have written that the naming of anything or anyone is near impossible. And that’s coming from a writer who likes titles, who was the go-to gal when I worked as a graduate student for the Iowa Alumni Review and it was time to come up with snappy titles and photo captions.
But titles for articles and essays and aren’t forever in the same way that pet and baby names linger. And while there is always the risk of a reader who doesn’t like the title of something, it’s usually little more than a minor irritant. When it’s time to name a baby, the stakes are much higher. Choose an unusual name or a name that sounds odd with the child’s last name and he or she may be a schoolyard target. Choose a name more often associated with the opposite gender, and the child will be teased (or in my case renamed by a benevolent but ultimately misguided headmaster who called me, for two years, Robina). Choose a name that honors one side of the family and the other may feel left out.
In the naming of my babies, here in the blogisphere known simply as Nine and Twelve, their father and I sought balance. Each is named for a family member; each has a middle name that comes from the other side of the family. In the case of each one, although the names were chosen well in advance of their births, we did not share them with anyone, bestowing them as gifts on the babies after they made their long-awaited entries into the world.
Forty-six years ago last Tuesday, my parents presented me with my name, Robin Bourjaily. It has served me well all these years and will, I suspect, continue to. I’ve been given lots of nicknames over the years, have developed a swooping signature, and frequently use simply “R:” the name works for me. It is me.
So a while back I had to decide what to name my new baby. It is not another little person, nor is it a new pet. This time the entity in search of a name is a yoga studio, opening next month at 7692 Hickman Road in Windsor Heights. The name needed to be something that represented not just me, but yoga and—I have to hope—something about the people who practice there. I started with images of light and change, wanting to capture how I feel when I practice and when I teach. Then I thought about OM—the symbol, the sound. It’s everything about yoga in one simple delight-filled utterance. After a particularly bold meditation experience, I realized I could put my images of light together with Om and I was coming closer to a name. For the sake of quick recognition, I figured yoga better be in there somewhere too.
Please come see the studio, opening 9/24, and while we’re waiting for the website, stop at the Radiant Om Yoga page, currently housed at www.posesandprose.com. Oh, and of course, like us on Facebook!
Thank you for your part in this exciting journey. It’s good to be starting something on the new August moon, Namaste, Rxo