Naming makes it so

This is one of my favorite phrases.  To me it means that when I name something, I breathe a kind of life into it.  To me it echoes with the ancient wisdom that names contain power, names have agency to  influence outcome.  Names become the reality we choose.

I also know that us humans dislike a muddle. We seek patterns we recognize, we name to bring something into relationship.  We consult Oracles for future insight, therapists for past recovery,  drugs for present relief.  An animal eye.  Watchful, cautious, not threatening yet not welcoming.


An animal that is more confronting, aggressive, demanding of my caution. I am OK to meet the one but maybe not the other.


But what happens when the name is not the thing named?  When the map is not the territory?  When what I see refuses to be named? When the name shifts: first cautious, then hostile, then watchful, then calm.  When I must allow the name of my experience to be “change.”


We humans seem to also dislike change.  We do not want our names for reality to shift, and fracture, and reassemble into something not nameable.  Change is the unknown.  The easing away from the garden of certainty into a fog-shrouded liminal zone. And again the unknown shifts, and gives way to the forest of the unknowable.  Whether I welcome change or not, this is my constant companion, this is the path.


Do I see fear or strength?
What I know, or what is unknowable?

Naming it makes it so.