Live Virtual Group Session: 6PM EDT June 21st 2021

Thank you to everyone who joined for this session!

For this session our text was an excerpt from On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong, posted below.

Our prompt for this session was: “Write about giving a name.”

More details on this session will be posted, so check back!

Participants are warmly encouraged to share what you wrote below (“Leave a Reply”), to keep the conversation going here, bearing in mind that the blog of course is a public space where confidentiality is not assured.

Also, we would love to learn more about your experience of these sessions, so if you’re able, please take the time to fill out a follow-up survey of one to two quick questions!

Please join us for our next session Wednesday June 23rd at 12pm EDT, with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions page.


Ocean Vuong, On Earth We Are Briefly Gorgeous (p. 20)

Before I was Little Dog, I had another name—the name I was born with. One October afternoon in a banana-thatched hut outside Saigon, on the same rice paddy you grew up on, I became your son. As Lan told it, a local shaman and his two helpers rushed in, wrapped me, still sticky with birth, in a white cloth, and raced to the nearby river, where I was bathed under veils of smoke and sage.

          Screaming, ash smudged across my forehead, I was placed in my father’s arms and the shaman whispered the name he had given me. It means Patriotic Leader of the Nation, the shaman explained. Having been hired by my father, and noticing my old man’s gruffness, the way he puffed out his chest to widen his 5ft.-2in frame as he walked, speaking with gestures that resembled blows, the shaman picked a name, I imagine, that would satisfy the man who paid him. And he was right. My father beamed, Lan said, lifting me over his head at the hut’s threshold. “My son will be the leader of Vietnam,” he shouted. But in two years, Vietnam—which, thirteen years after the war and still in shambles—would grow so dire that we would flee the very ground he stood on, the soil where, a few feet, away, your blood had made a dark circle between your legs, turning the dirt there into fresh mud—and I was alive.

7 thoughts on “Live Virtual Group Session: 6PM EDT June 21st 2021

  1. About giving a name…

    What shall I call you, the gift given to me by my Creator?
    You are full of life and promise.
    All lies within your grasp.
    It is my job to offer guidance when needed,
    allowing you to explore the world that lies before you.
    You are full of wonder, full of questioning whatever the world places before you.

    Your name is just a symbol of the love I have for you as you travel upon this earth.
    My Christmas baby, I wish you well now and forever.

    Like

  2. Patricia D.

    When I placed my gigantic, white, fluffy Samoyed puppy in my tiny sportscar he filled up the front seat completely.
    Next, he leaped out of the car and pooped on our lawn as if to declare, “I’m home!”
    I had read a book by an Inuit author with a character called Okiok. I knew instantly that this would be my adopted creature’s name.
    It suited his wild northern spirit perfectly. I was enchanted by his long white eyelashes that hid his sparkling blue eyes.
    I fell in love with him instantly.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. al3793

    We had just five minutes to give our daughter a name. She was born on her due date and the lawyer called at 2 AM to tell us she was born and that he needed a name and we did not have time to call him back. Rubbing the sleep from my eyes I looked at Laurie and queried, Katharine?” with a ‘K’ and two “a’s”. You would have thought we would have planned for this, but in our defense, we only had two months to prepare and we were new at this.

    It was simpler when Peter was born. We had learned many lessons of love from Katharine. We wanted to name him after our Friar Friend and brother Rock but we wondered if people would want to nickname him little Rocky. We decided that Peter was close and would bear the key to more learning, more love…another gift.

    Like

    • By Divine guidance, a child seems to “grow” into the name selected by the parents. Often the name represents the hopes parents have for their child as the life journey progresses forward. However, sometimes name selection is finalized by a “toss of a coin” so to speak. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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