What’s In A Name?

There was a time when this title would have spurred an intense theological discussion. Not today! Today I ask you…where have all the good names gone?

I’ve been walking at the cemetery. I love walking among the grave markers, wondering what stories, what secrets, what sins were buried there. I love the stillness and gravity of death, the reminder that we are mortal and our days are fleeting. If ever you need motivation to do something “more” with your life, take a walk in a cemetery. I said the other night (and it is true!) that one of my friends captures the stories in a cemetery with photography far better than I could, using words. Take a moment and peruse her work.

But today, my heart is enamored with names. One of the things I love about walking in the cemetery is the inspiration of seeing unusual or outdated names. This is a great resource for writers, by the way. Yesterday, I saw the following names:

  • Augusta
  • Wilburn
  • Ivey
  • Tolbert
  • Quincy
  • Clive
  • Henrietta

It blew my mind! These are great names. My name, by comparison, seems boring. Don’t get me wrong, I love my name! But these are awesome names. I cannot begin to tell you how dreadfully I want to begin a letter, “My dear friend, Tolbert.”

How about you? What do you love about the cemetery? And what are some of your favorite, outdated or unusual names? And don’t forget to check out Gayle’s photography…now I’ve told you twice. Trust me. Clicky.

Pax Domini!


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10 Responses to What’s In A Name?

  1. Pookie says:

    You went to the graveyard without me?!?!?!!


    • semmie says:

      More than once. *Hangs head in shame.* I wanted to call you, but I didn’t want to disrupt your sleeping schedule. If you have time this week (Tue, Wed, Thur?) when I usually come into town, let me know and I’ll take you with me. 😀 Two duckies were there already!

  2. princesa says:

    funny thing, the view from my job is directly across from the cemetary. when i stand in front of it i wonder about their lives, the year, what their hopes were, if they fulfilled them. were they happy.
    just recently i’m deciding to undergo a career change, i am thoroughly unhappy at a job that pays very well. for ten years i’ve been doing the same thing and it’s poisining my spirit. husband was laid off so i must work. problem is i don’t know what i want to do, i haven’t found what inspires me to action yet. but i love the process of self discovery. an example, i realized i should just dye my hair back to it’s natural black, why did i want to be blond for so long. Who cares if other people thought i look better with lighter hair, it always felt wrong to some degree. yes, many women could never understand that, to them, it’s just hair color who cares right? well, i realized, i did. One day i decided to go to a free american indian museum near my job, i saw the most beautiful woman there, she was probably mid thirties, not a stitch of makeup, she had naturally black hair, fit, she looked like she rode horses to keep mentally, spiritually and physically fit. I thought, this woman is who I want to be. Not the fake blonde who wants to buy the latest Gucci bag but this woman in front of me, sure of herself, non conforming..graceful, elegant. She was the epitomy of beauty for that moment because the sureness she felt in the expression of herself was something palpable and i am so grateful for it.
    God bless you sister.

    • semmie says:

      What an incredible description of the woman! I have to know…did you talk with her? Did you ask her about her life?

      I am proud of you for being so willing to even tackle these matters. Many women in our society either can’t or won’t. I will be praying for you as you work through these matters. I hope you know…I have always seen you as strong, confident, and graceful!

      Blessings right back at you! And big HUGS!

  3. princesa says:

    hi,oh no, i didn’t speak to her, i didn’t feel the pull to actually, i was too pleasantly mesmerized just by her appearance, how it contrasted so much with mine, i felt here stands a woman without material preoccupations, who probably never goes to Sephora and with all that free time gained from not wasting it on that superficiality has a mind sharp with the knowledge of books and arts and culture.

    now, after the awe of her has calmed itself if i see her again i could engage in conversation.

    you have a lovely spirit, God bless you.

    • semmie says:

      I probably would’ve been too mesmerized to approach her, myself! But…I would’ve wished I had, after the fact. Hehe. It’s something I’m working on. I usually feel like I don’t want to “bother” other people, so I just keep my thoughts, observations, compliments to myself. I want to be more confident in just telling someone I am inspired by them.

      Anyway, thanks for your thoughts, and for the kind compliment. 🙂 I appreciate it!

      Pax Domini!

  4. Pingback: Name It & Claim It « barefooted

  5. Sara says:

    You certainly do have some of the most unusual posts, but that’s why I read them. As far as where have all the good names gone? Hmmmm…well, I think they died along with disco. And what? Apple and Pilot Inspektor aren’t good names? (hahaha, I know, I know, they’re awful!) I’ve always been set on traditional names when I finally have kids, I thought about it for years. Something not as lame and everyday as Sara or with an “h”. I thought Helena for my first born girl and John (common I know, but an ode to my best friend/grandfather). And Tolbert? I had a bear growing up named that….how odd.

    • semmie says:

      You’re right–Sarah and Sara both are too common. Ugh! Helena is a great name, though! I always liked Laurelin for a girl (from Tolkien’s books). Tolbert is an exceptional name, though, and if I ever have a son–that’s what his name is gonna be. Bonus Points for having a bear named Tolbert! Mine was Toby. 🙂

  6. I love graveyards. They are peaceful. I love the history represented there. All those people, each individuals with their own stories to tell. Whenever I walk through a graveyard I like to stop at individual graves and read the name, the years, the history of those decades of their lives, and to imagine what kind of experiences they may have had. Did they live during a war? During a famine? Did they have children? It’s fascinating. Of course…that could be why I’ve always wanted to be an archaeologist!

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