M. Linda Graham
Her Name, Her Truth
Updated: Jun 8, 2020
“The name of the Lord reveals who s/he is. Praise the name of the Lord.”
Last April, 2019, when Starbuck, my 30yr. old Lippitt Morgan passed away, I wasn’t sure if I’d get another horse. After all, I was an “accidental” rider – taking up riding initially to keep my daughter’s horse in shape until her return home from college. But as many parents know, “return home from college” doesn’t happen. Which left StarBuck with me. Working with him linked me to her, even as we grew in our partnership. When he died, I grieved deeply, and I had a choice: continue this oh-so-expensive “horse-thing”? or not? I certainly had no obligation to. But after a summer of taking classes once a week riding different horses (which is kind’ve like going on a series of blind dates) – I realized that I no longer rode out of a sense of connection to my daughter, but because a relationship with a horse was in itself deeply fulfilling to me. So I asked the spirit of StarBuck to send the right horse my way. And I talked to Jenn, my trainer. Months of looking passed, then serendipity (or maybe StarBuck) stepped in. Late October, my son in Columbus, OH broke his ankle – I told Jenn I’d be there for a bit, helping him out – and she said “where?” As it turned out, there was a mare in Columbus, OH who fit my parameters – but she was out of my initial ‘range’ geographically, and weirdly enough, her name caused Jenn to hesitate: “StarBucks.” Yup. Same name, color, even age as StarBuck was when we bought him. Long story short, I got a big pony for Christmas. I thought I needed to change her name- too much baggage with “StarBuck,” right? I tried, but several months later, the mare informed us all that StarBucks is HER name, and any baggage I had with the name was MY baggage, not hers – I’d have to square with that. If I wanted to be her partner, I’d have to call her by her true name.
“Today I brew, tomorrow I bake
& then the child away I take
For little deems my royal dame
That Rumpelstiltzkin is my name.”
Names are powerful. Would Trump be President if he still bore the family name “Drumpf”? It’s universally understood in spiritual circles that knowledge of a true name allows one to affect another person or sentient being. Knowing a true name therefore gives the person who knows the name power in the relationship. Voldemort wields power because he is “he who shall not be named;” but when Harry calls him by his true name – Tom Riddle – we know Harry has radically shifted the power difference. To leave something unnamed is to grant a fearful power - like a poltergeist, it can come and go, influencing anonymously, because it remains unnamed, unrecognized, unidentified and ultimately uncontrollable. A name has power because it provides a means to recognize, acknowledge, listen and communicate with another entity - serious responsibilities. Naming that stray cat who keeps showing up on your back porch at dinner time = certainty of adoption. Naming your pig is a mistake if you dream of BLTs. Naming the elephant in the room is the necessary first step towards addressing it. Suffice it to say, knowing a true name empowers because the name wields the potential for connection. Acknowledging the name is the first step in the dance of mutual recognition and respect.
Her name, her truth – StarBucks she is.