Sunday, October 16, 2005


So, this is a picture of me. Digitally presented to you via zipping electrons and bits of color. It isn't a name but perhaps it could be. Do you see the scar on my cheek? Do you see my frizzy uncempt hair? How about my sloppy shaving job? This describes me in a almost purely visual way and it has name-like qualities.

Names are interesting things. We give them to everything observable; babies, tacos, this photo, mice, hurricanes, ducks and so on. I understand that this is how we figured out how to relate to each other. We started using these abstractions. The advent of titles must have been quite a thought really. I consider myself pretty original and the idea of inventing names is far beyond understanding. Almost like trying to create a new primary color or realizing your sapient. Inconceivable!

So here I am musing away.

Thinking about names and origin at 1:30am on a Monday. Monday, the moon's day that was apparently really important to some long gone Anglo-Saxon somewhere. Another name.

I have a name. Hell I've three: Peter Michael Lorenz. This is in all likelihood a name that many people have owned before I was even fetal. Peter is the first among my names and of it I'm proudest. It meant Πετρος originally, though now it has changed. In-fact there is little doubt that the name meant something different but those days are too distant and unrecorded. Πετρος is "Petros" translated from the Aramaic title "Cephas", meaning "stone".
It was this name that Jesus once gave his most prominent apostle Simon. Simon meant "listener" and he must have done that well. It seems that Simon, who was Saint Peter, became the first pope and the "rock upon which Gods church was built". Some people think he is some kind of bouncer in Heaven now. That's a lot to live up to.
Peter the great was a Czar in Russia a while ago. He was a very excellent stone. The man made a living and his fame by being surly and brawling with Sweden.
Then there was J. M. Barrie's play about the exploits of Peter Pan. He could fly around whenever he was happy without the use of intoxicants. Unless you count fairy dust which I don't. The guy refused to age and hung out with adolescent miscreants. He was never a saint nor did he fight any Swedish dudes. Unless some of the pirates were vikings.
מִיכָאֵל is my middle name. It used to be Miyka'el which inquired "who is like God?". Now it's Michael. This is one of those cool old biblical names. One of the seven archangels in Hebrew tradition and the only one identified as an archangel in the Bible. In the Book of Revelation in the New Testament he is portrayed as the leader of heaven's armies. I guess that means two of my names are worn by holy bouncers depending on faith. Some Protestants think Michael as the sole archangel, as the only one explicitly mentioned as such in the Bible. However, in general, Protestant interest in angelic beings has been low. In Islam Michael is the Archangel of the Weather. All that is speculation though. This is factual: another Czar was had this title. So did nine Byzantine emperors. Oh and Michael Jordan, who some say, could also fly.
Lorenz is Father's name. He is a alcoholic and in many ways seems quite helpless. But in other ways he is a Musketeer who parades around in feathered hats like it's 1568. That man is the only fellow I know who has a scar related to warhammer fighting. Once my father made a miniature diorama called "Dear, the Zulus have trodden on our pick-a-nick". He used to fence and act which in no way explains these bittersweet memories. Another Lorenz coined the term "butterfly effect". And yet another was Saint Laurence, the 3rd-century deacon and martyr from Rome. According to tradition he was roasted alive on a gridiron because, when ordered to hand over the church's treasures, he presented the sick and poor.
The name Lorenz actually comes from the Roman "Laurentius", which meant "of Laurentum". Laurentum was a city in ancient Italy, its name probably deriving from Latin laurus "laurel". This one seems to have always been a last name.

So all that is me apparently. Me trying to find similarities between the properties of being myself and abstracts assigned to me before I saw day light.

2 Comments:

Blogger santoritimes said...

there's some weirdness afoot when reading the end of this post and, when looking down as one is wont to do when reading, one sees next thai soup. F'in' weird.

And the name Jeffrey originally surfaced in the collective unconscious in the seventies, before which no one was ever named Jeffrey. Or Geoffrey. Don't believe the alternatives.

5:10 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

There seems to be little evidence to dispute your claim that Jeffrey emerged from bong myrth. But Geoffrey came from all kinds of places. It's a frenched up verion of a germanic name. frid ment "peace" in older German, but the first element may be either gawia "territory", walah "stranger", gisil "hostage" or god "god". Normans can be blamed for this weirdness.
I am sure the most famous namebearer is Jeffery Parrazo aka Trent Fernandez aka White Dino Thunder Ranger. He originally auditioned for the role of the Blue Dino Thunder Ranger but was thought to fit better as the mysterious White Ranger. Oooh the mystery of it all!

8:23 PM  

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