My wife calls out to the Cat that lives with us, and Cat looks up at her. It occurs to me that Cat knows her name. Then it occurs to me how arbitrary her name is. Then it occurs to me that my name is similarly arbitrary. I think of how it connects me to relatives and heritage and to my family, but it also binds me to a fixed state of “Joel-ness” that I associate with my name. Then I think about how any kind of naming can have this limiting effect.
Today, I will be paying attention to the possible limiting effects of naming, and doing my best to avoid these imposed limits.