How We Name Ourselves.
I’m thinking about the ‘growing-up’ process, or rather the ‘growing-way-up’ process and how we name it. All of human culture necessitates naming; the act of naming makes ideas and forms manifest. Heraclitus turned ‘logos’ into a signifier connecting the structure of the cosmos and human reason. A primal ‘analogy’: as the universe creates, man creates. Naming has a generative effect. This is especially true of naming ourselves.
Thankfully we’ve morphed from being Seniors to being Elders - reclaiming a certain stature lost somewhere in the grind of the Industrial Age. The word Elder, historically aligned with a position of authority, doesn’t necessarily signify wise, yet the concept beckons one to be so. Aristotle gave this a name, now Latinized as “entelechy” - the condition in which a potentiality becomes an actuality. This makes my point - that we need to consider how and what we name.
How, for instance, do we label pain? It can be fleeting or it can be chronic. Yet, when I experience pain, I always opt for fleeting or at least transitory, since I intend for it to be so. Yes, I’ve been relatively lucky so far. But one needs to take care in labeling emotions and feelings as one can get trapped by choosing negative labels.
We are all enlightened these days as to how critical the act of naming ourselves has become in regards to gender. Let’s also get enlightened as to how we name ourselves as we grow into our ‘ultimate adulthood.’ Are you old? Are you wise? Or maybe you just are you... alive and present and still growing. An ‘Elder in progress.’
Ellary Eddy is a multi-hyphenate whose career has encompassed painting, penning screenplays, founding Realizemagazine.com (a lifestyle and culture magazine), and most recently authoring a book of essays called "Her Argument: Epiphanies, Theories, Confessions," coming out on Amazon in February.