Of Being Me

Hello my name is Beaton but by now you should know to call me just B. no other letters, and you don’t pronounce the just. Sometimes I like to tell people that my name is pronounced, you know how in French some letters are silent like the  S in Paris is silent, well all the letters in my name are silent too except for the B……

B.jpg

I am ~B and this is day three of my blog everyday challenge

People are funny creatures, you tell someone to call you B. and next time they call you, they presume to know your name. I have been called Brighton, Brilliant, Beacon, even Brian. I mean Brian? How even? But if there is anything that grinds my gears more than my name being assumed wrong, it’s when I tell someone my name and they pronounce it badly, even when I repeat it…. And I eventually say please just call me B (and save me the drama of hearing my name being mangled) but that other part stays in my head…

Where I come from people tend to give babies names with meaning but I guess most people do to a fashion, like Tawanda (meaning we are many) Tafara (meaning we are happy) Shuvai (meaning Hope) Navelani (also meaning Hope). Most names used here, when you hear them, you understand them, you can define them, you can even find them in the dictionary.

My name is uncommon, I have only “met” one person with it, as a first name, we are Facebook friends… if you are reading this post Hi Beaton!!!!

Beaton

Beaton

When I am asked what my name means sometimes I say, “I cannot be defined because my name is not in the dictionary.” But that’s not completely true I looked up my name it means:

“From the warrior’s estate”

From the warrior’s estate wow… do not mess with me. You see, I am a descendant from a line of warriors that leads back to Shaka The Zulu. Shaka reigned in Southern Africa and consolidated a formidable empire in the late 1700s to early 1800s.

Shaka The Zulu

I don’t think my parents had this in mind when they named me, it was in honour to an uncle….  (hmmmm maybe my grandaparents when they named my uncle….)

In Zimbabwe family kin identify each other by their totems, people of the same clan have the same totem (known as mutupo in Shona language) It’s a patron or spirit animal for your people, you respect it and you are not supposed to eat it. When you have done good, when someone is thanking you or beseeching you or down right flattering you, they can invoke your totem in a clan praise name…….

My mother’s totem is heart (moyo). My father’s totem is fire (moto, mlilo)

My totem is Fire. You become your father’s people…..

 

Again this is uncommon as most, if not all have animals or organic totems. Lion (shumba, murambwi), elephant(zhou ndlovu), monkey(shoko), zebra(dube) heart(moyo) and many other totems. The people who came up with this totem thing were clever not to pick animals like chicken, cow or pig because folk would have been in trouble. Eating your totem is said to cause a host of misfortune including droughts until you appease your ancestors.

My Totem is fire…..

There is nothing I don’t eat, my ancestors “discovered” fire and I pay homage to them in a barbecue.

fire BBQ

Hello my name is Beaton and my spirit animal will barbecue your spirit animal…..

My totem is fire and I was born to be uncommon.

Mlilo, Chauke

~B

PS You can read about my how my ancestors “discovered” fire HERE

 

Shaka Zulu Image credit Source

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Of Coffee, April Fools, Short Stories and Fathers

If you were having coffee with me I would say thank you for joining me, how have you been? I have been good cheers to the New Month, hello April what do you have in store for us? Good things I hope.

So did anyone play any good April Fools pranks on you or did you do the pranking?

I didn’t prank anyone but I did write a Very Short Story #VSS called April’s fool:

He used to be the court jester, till he clowned his way into queen April’s heart. No one ever called him King only April’s Fool….

For those who follow my twitterverse account @Beatonm5 you might have noticed I tweet a lot using that hashtag #VSS.. I have been asked many times what this means  it simply stands for a very short story. Twitter and its 140 characters per tweet makes you adept at the fine art of brevity of expression and challenges your creative skills to write a story. If you have a second you can find my #VSS tweets by clicking HERE. If you tweet micro-stories on twitter do let me know and I will check it out and if you haven’t you must try it, it’s also a good way to come up with writing ideas or a story to develop further, for those moments you think you have writer’s block.

If you were having coffee with me I would tell you I attended my first mass today. Before you look at me with that scandalous expression it was not my first mass but rather it was the first mass I have been to where the priest in attendance is a family member. He got ordained as a priest last year but time and circumstance had not made it possible for me to attend any of his services. It was quite weird, watching him, deliver sermons and perform sacred rites of communion with ease of someone who has been a priest all his life. It’s also weird how once, he was my young brother and now I call him Father, he looks older. He looks like someone you can confess your sins to, without being judged and expecting him to mete out a fair penance of Our Fathers and Hail Marys, someone who could officiate your wedding, baptise your little ones and when you laid there on your deathbed someone who would perfom the last rites and finally bury you and into the   hole ye goes… Someone you could call Father.

I remember attending his ordination ceremony officiated by an Apostolic nuncio who is the Pope’s emissary so it was quite an honour. The community decided to welcome him by bestowing upon him the gift of a totem, he was declared of the Moyo (Heart) Clan. I am fairly sure protocol was creatively circumvented and he accepted ever so graciously. He thanked the family for our generosity in letting go one of ours to a greater calling. The ordination of a priest, it feels bittersweet like part marriage and part funeral… Christ being the bridegroom: does that make the priest, the bride? but unlike a wedding you are not gaining in-laws as such, but losing your relation to the church … imagine calling your own son father I guess that’s why priest end up in parishes far from their home and family to prevent awkward encounters and broken hearts just like at any wedding.

If you were having coffee with me I would tell I just got my few seconds of fame from a YouTube video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LcmwF7_6Ljo

where I got a shout out from Leeann who I featured on my blog The Girl In the Red Dress ( she has a YouTube channel and shares recipes with Conde a parrot I do believe) anyhow someone watched the clip and is now a new follower on my blog, I would have mentioned them by name but, they are internet shy, so I’ll just say I hope you read this wherever you are…

Cheers, April Showers and May Flowers

~B

PS speaking of pranks, and April I am still trying to figure out if this notice from the Zambia Police is real or not, if you do please tell me so…..

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