A name is a hard thing to get over.
Remembered is the name of a first dog, a best friend, a first kiss and one's first lover. Also packed away in cerebral storage units, whose one and only key is kept safely tucked away behind accumulated tomes of experience, disappointments, and Small Expectations, are the names of enemies, friends lost, breakers of words and hearts, and perhaps the name of one who shattered a promised world.
A name identifies. It ties to a person-hood, to a family, and to a place in time. When someday death reaches for me, my name will last, providing evidence that I Was Here.
And, names change. They trail, truncate and reach their ends on Trees of Genes. Blood is joined and separated. Married and divorced. Sometimes, I am sure, these trails are false. What lusts I wonder, led to breadcrumb names, left to lead astray? Not all unions are a Proud Branch on the family tree, surely. However, some of the accepted and traditional unions are, I can assure you, nothing to be proud of. Their branches wither and rot in gnarled bitterness, all the while remaining genealogically upstanding.
My name changed. And, changed back again. I am now back in my Father's House: a Block, falling off the tree of rounded fruits.
Sometimes, I think I should listen to the unspoken voices, to the harbinger's of the fates, more often. A square trying to be round? "It may not work" they said through others' voices. A bird may love a fish, it is said, but where would they live? And thus I longed for a nest in a wet world.
For years, I had a plate hanging on my kitchen wall declaring "An apple is an excellent thing–until you have tried a peach." –George du Maurier. It was witty and fitting at the time, given to me by my mother who procured it at a Goodwill somewhere in the heart of the heartland: Lincoln, Nebraska. I left that plate, hanging on a wall...
And, I thought apples an excellent thing, having tried...
My appetite for this particular stone fruit, extolled on the porcelain plate, waned considerably. Although that may, indeed is, an understatement. My appetite ceased.
A friend, and one truest to the very essence of that word "friend" (over-used and cosmetically understood very like "love" which is used on anything from kittens to Skittles to Beloveds to a physical Making which is at the very heart of humanity), who has talked me through a great deal so far in this confusing business of Living, said, "These must be renamed. A code name, if you will, must be created. It is all mental, this problem." She was right, of course. The verbiage must be changed. "...doth not the appetite alter? A man loves the meat in his youth that he cannot endure in his age." In my case, Mr. Shakespeare, the appetite concerns a certain fruit. But, all the same...I stand altered.
"Taos," (pronounced: touz) she christened. And, therefore it came about that the Stone Fruit Peach was baptized "tao."
Slowly, I have made my peace with a Name. Age altered, and now discovers sweetness of a different kind.
Admittedly, I still prefer the name taos.
Baked Ginger Taos
Pads of butter (in my case -- Earth Balance soy free spread)
Freshly grated ginger
Water for a "bath" for the peaches as they cook
Bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes.
My sister, eating with me, declared that it was like eating only the best part of a pie. Who wants the crust, anyway?
She licked her plate.
So did I.