“There are people and nations, Mother, that I would like to say to you by name. I entrust them to you in silence, I entrust them to you in the way that you know best.” Pope John Paul II
What’s in a name? As William Shakespeare aptly said, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” I was pondering what photos to share for this week’s photo challenge and when nothing came to mind, I considered abandoning the assignment and closing the door on this one; NAMES – the first photo challenge of the year. Yet, something stopped me and I went back to my files and searched some more. As I scanned folder after folder, I wished I had taken photos of the clothing that had the seamstress’s name on it or the Amazon box of old that had the packer’s name on a slip of paper included, but, alas, no such luck. Then I opened a folder of pictures I took of a trip to Brooklyn and this picture danced before my eyes. I took a closer look and voila!
Where was this taken? About a year or so ago, I gave one of my kids a ride to Williamsburg, Brooklyn, for a book event. It was being held at The Shrine Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, a Catholic church on North 8th Street. On one side of the church facade was this huge sign with lots of names and some ads honoring friends and family and, perhaps, parishioners long gone. The sign caught my attention and I took several frames and saved them. I was raised Catholic so, the idea sat well with me and took me back to memories of my upbringing and the Catholic schools I attended. The church is home to several generations of Southern Italian immigrants who built it as a place to worship their favorite saints and bring the feel of traditional services in Italy into their new world in the USA. Every year in July, the Italian community in the area celebrate the annual Giglio Feast. Since 1958, the church has combined the Giglio Feast with the feast honoring Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
“Rivers, ponds, lakes and streams – they all have different names, but they all contain water. Just as religions do – they all contain truths.” Muhammad Ali
Why Names & What happened to my usual collages? I’ve been thinking about the Giglio Feast and how much names and naming carried so much weight in Catholicism. We had a birth name, and years later a confirmation name. We celebrated the saints and all their feast days, and the Mother Mary had a zillion names she was known by. Names matter to all of us as they give us a way to introduce ourselves to others. They offer some inkling to a family, community and a cultural background. Naming ceremonies exist because families attach great importance to passing down cherished family names and so, a name can signify the continuation of a family lineage and legacy. As for my collage, I couldn’t find enough photos to make it work in an attractive way so I will table it for this week. But do come back and check later, I might add one for good measure.
This post was inspired by a prompt from WP Weekly Photo Challenge Post: – NAMES – Humans love naming things — look around you, and I bet you’ll see dozens of names. This week, take a photo of one! This week, share a photo that includes a name. When you stop, and look around, you realize that we’re surrounded by names: street signs, name tags, vanity license plates, boat names, brand names, the spines of the books on your shelf… there are possibilities everywhere. Look for something esoteric, or keep it close to home with a photo of a building that’s important to you or of your favorite person wearing a monogrammed sweater. Whatever you choose, make sure we can read the name!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Have a relaxing weekend!
Positive Motivation Tip: Cherish and celebrate the name you have.
PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All other Photos from my personal collection.