Friday Five: What’s in a name?

What’s in a name?  That which we call a rose
by any other name would smell as sweet.
— Juliet, Romeo and Juliet, (II.ii.1-2)

I read a book once that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but I’ve never been able to believe it. I don’t believe a rose would be as nice if it was called a thistle or a skunk cabbage.
Anne Shirley, Anne of Green Gables

This week’s Friday Five at the RevGals is about names and blogs and other fun stuff.  I haven’t played in a while, so I thought I’d play this week.

1. So how did you come up with your blogging name? And/or the name of your blog?

On this blog, I’ve had two blogging names, hedwyg and warriormare.  Hedwyg has a silly story – Hedwig is a nickname that my ex used to call all girls/women he knew who had my (real) first name.  I’d actually never heard it before, back in the early ’90s, but then Hedwig became popular as Harry’s owl in the Harry Potter series.  When I chose a gmail address years ago, I knew it had to be Hedwig, but that was already taken, so I substituted the Y and presto!  Instant internet identity!  🙂  I looked up Hedwyg on a baby name web site recently, and learned that it means warrior, which was really interesting to me given that second handle.

The warriormare identity came to me from this Diesel Sweeties comic strip, which had been featured on boingboing.  I laughed so hard at that comic strip, and later decided that there’s no reason a mare can’t have a spear… and there’s no reason a woman can’t be a warrior.

The title of this blog came from its original purpose, which was to be a spiritual discipline of practicing gratitude, intentionally, every day.  I was going through a lot of very stressful, very annoying, very frustrating stuff, and was feeling myself begin the slide into a depression.  But after I started this blog, well, I found reasons not to be depressed.  I took control of as much of the stressful, annoying, frustrating stuff as I could, and I found ways to have the stuff I couldn’t control taken care of (including just letting go of it).  I’ve kept the title, even though the blog has gone in some different directions, because it still reminds me to seek out the things of beauty, the things that give me joy, the things that feed me, the things I am grateful for.

2. Are there any code names or secret identities in your blog? Any stories there?

I used to use code names for my family members, in a previous incarnation.  Now I generally don’t, though I try to refer to folks through the relationships and not their names, just to respect their privacy.  But before, my daughter’s secret identity was Ladybug, and my son’s was Bear… just because these had always been nicknames I’d used for them (among many, many others!).

3. What are some blog titles that you just love? For their cleverness, drama, or sheer, crazy fun?

I love My Manner of Life, because there is wording in some document or other about people whose manner of life could cause strain to the Anglican Communion.  I’m wondering who in the entire world has ever existed – with the possible, but not probable, exception of Jesus himself – whose manner of life wouldn’t cause strain to somebody.

I think the new blog Crowded Handbasket has a great name, too.  My fiance – who is every bit as irreverent as I am – and I often talk about how we’re both going to end up in hell.  And then we’ll say, Handbasket for two, non-smoking please! I know asking for non-smoking in hell might be pushing it, but I figure hey, why not ask and see what happens.  🙂

And I also love mamabishop, which is written by the Rt. Rev. Carol Gallagher, who was our Bishop Suffragan here in Southern VirginiaMamabishop describes her identity – a mother and a bishop – but it also is a way of looking at the world that I wish more bishops carried.  Jesus talked about God loving us and caring for us as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and I think we could use more bishops who gathered us under their wings.  I will never forget the first time I saw Bishop Carol, at the ordination of two friends to the transitional deaconate, where she preached an amazing sermon.  After she’d removed her vestments for the reception, Carol was wearing her episcopal purple shirt, a black broomstick skirt, black sandals, and sunglasses atop her head.  And I thought, wow, I love this woman!  🙂

4. What three blogs are you devoted to? Other than the RevGalBlogPals of course!

This is tough – only three?!?  There are many I read regularly, but for the top three, I guess I’ll choose the ICHC family of blogs, then MadPriest at Of course I could be wrong… (with a hat tip to the whole crazy, wonderful family that posts at Of course I could be on vacation… when MadPriest is away), and BoingBoing, where I get all kinds of wonderfully geeky techy copyrighty fun news.

5. Who introduced you to the world of blogging and why?

I think the first blogger I read who blogged regularly was RealLivePreacher, more than five years ago.  His writing is so honest, so authentic, so open, and I have admired him so greatly this whole time.  Then I fell in with the whole community of Godbloggers, Episcobloggers, and RevGalbloggers, and I’m just not going to leave!  I’ve found so much support, so much honesty (even when that’s hard), so much caring and love and generosity and joy.  It’s been great.

Of course, one of the ways my fiance and I got to know each other was through the blogs we’ve written over time.  This is my third blog, after two different ones named for the river stone that is such a key part of my spiritual identity, and at all three, my beloved and I have found insights about each other and our worlds, things we’ve shared in common and ways we complement each other, and connection from 700 miles apart.

Bonus!  Have you ever met any of your blogging friends? Where are some of the places you’ve met these fun folks?

Yeppers!  I wasn’t able to make it to The Big Event or to the Festival of Homies, but I’ve had some one-on-one blogmeets.  Of course, I’ve met my fiance, who blogs at CanAm Ramblings now, and I’ve met DaddyRob of DaddyRoBlog.  I met Ann+ of One Wild and Precious Life back in 1999, but that was long before either of us had a blog.  Just this spring I met Rev Sharon of Another Loose Canon for the first time, and I’ve also met Richard of Grim Richard’s Irregulars, since he was a high school friend of my ex-husband.  And, of course, I’ve met Carol Gallagher of mamabishop.

And a second bonus for Songbird, on the idea of your daughter’s new identity…

Why not give her an identity as a fellow bird, to connect her with the theme of the blog, but also to give her wings and watch her fly.  Ask her what her favorite birds are, and what kind of bird she would want to be if she could be a bird for a day.  She might be a gaudy peacock or a bright cardinal or a humble sparrow.  She might be a mighty eagle or a talkative parrot or a singing canary.  Anyway, just a thought.


10 thoughts on “Friday Five: What’s in a name?

  1. Thanks for the suggestion, I will pass it along! The trouble with 13-year-olds is they are not sure just how associated with Mom they want to be. Some days more than others!


  2. thanks for such a lovely post. you moved my heart this morning.

    it was great hearing about hedwyg and how it came about.

    love your comments on mamabishop–look forward to checking her and the others out.



  3. I love your stated reason for blogging: “The title of this blog came from its original purpose, which was to be a spiritual discipline of practicing gratitude, intentionally, every day. ” what a good goal and way to live!!


  4. Many thanks for the notice. This post explains the reason for adopting “My Manner of Life” as the title of my blog. The title comes from the odious resolution, numbered B033, adopted by the 2006 General Convention:
    Resolved, the 75th General Convention receive and embrace the Windsor Report’s invitation to engage in a process of healing and reconciliation; and be it further
    Resolved that this convention therefore call upon standing committees and bishops with jurisdiction to exercise restraint by not consecrating any bishop whose manner of life poses a challenge to the church and would lead to further strains on communion.


Comments are closed.