My name is Bill

IMG_6749I tried to step outside of my name, to look at it objectively. It was a plain name, handed down from my dad—and to him, from his father. It was like all the other things that get handed down, the good and the bad. Inheritance. I was one of the plain names with my friends, the Matts and the Marks, a product of our time. We grew into the name, we grew to love the name, to identify with it. We took on the persona of the name and forgot where it came from, it was so much a part of us. So much that to change our names felt unnatural, a break in the order of things. But even that has its own nature, its own necessity, the need to break. Nature knows no names for itself, only for others to identify us from the outside looking in. And how hard it is to step outside what’s been decided before we’re born. To delineate our nature from our names, which have so little to do with one another. I thought myself so much more than a Bill, but no other name would satisfy. And at the end of it all I would be buried or burned the same as any other, no matter the name. They would put it on a stone and I wouldn’t even be there to see it.

Categories: identity, prose

Tags: , , , , , , ,

18 replies

  1. Phew! As Graham often says when confronted with close-packed, multi-layered deepness – ‘pick the bones out of that’, and in this case, not only metaphorically but literally too with that final ‘knock-out’ sentence.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I picked the bones out of a coho salmon fillet I cooked last night! Thanks Tish- Graham is a great name, innit? Tish, too: don’t meet those too often. Bill

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s a name used as a Scottish term for a smallish mountain. They grade them apparently. Grahams are 2000 – 2500 feet but with a 150 metre descent all round (to mix metrics). There are also Munros and Corbetts, but no Bills 😦

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ha! What a lovely story, had no idea. Thanks for sharing. I like smallish mountains, really any size…good for the imagination. Sources of inspiration I think, according to the tarot.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. and my father bill, followed his father bill, as well. p.s. my name was changed when i was 2, by parents who disagreed on the order of my names at birth. not a good sign for them.


  3. I’m running out of ways to say these is really good, so I’ll leave it at that. You could always change your name to Braxton or Braden. That’s what my neighbors in Ohio named their kids.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. How interesting to read about name’s significance whittling down to family legacy. A good read William on the Bill. Like Shakespeare would say, ‘What’s in a name?’

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Vishal (and I love your name), good thing to ruminate on and this is just a start. Love the notion that definitions limit, they state “everything a word cannot be,” by definition- and names might too. Ha, whatever…enjoy the day my friend. Bill

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I enjoyed this a lot. My father’s name is William as well, known as Bill – also transferred down from his father. In my opinion I love the name because his last name is Murray, and I always say he is The Real Bill Murray because of all of the great things he’s accomplished in his life. The name has a lot of significance but at the end of the day you are the person you want to be, can’t run from the name but glad . you embraced it. Good read.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s s a wonderful note Kaleigh! Thanks for sharing. I often think I look like Bill Murray around the hips with my shirt off via “Lost in Translation,” and not altogether pretty but there you have it 🤨


  6. My Great Grandfather was Allan, then Frederick Allan, who begat Allan, my father, who named me Bruce Allan. A lineage imposed.

    My son is not Allan, nor Something Allan.

    We are all in the flow of un-naming currents of earth or ash.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. According to my parents, my name has no significance. They just liked it, which was cute and weird for 1965.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: