Tag Archives: words

What’s in a name

What’s in a name

I was challenged by what to call this “website”.

All of the variants that would include my name and would be fairly easily remembered were unavailable. I did not want to limit it by using a current interest (e.g., ‘fretboy’ for my recent attempt at learning acoustic guitar) and the name had to reflect my overall personality, direction and interests.

After much reflection, I came up with the simple domain name of utkas, which is a term used in Meyerhold Movement to indicate the pre-movement before executing a movement – the pitcher’s wind-up, the musician’s inhalation, the writer’s click of a pen.  It seemed appropriate for my constant state of preparing, considering and reflecting on things before attempting them.  But… I later found out that the term is spelled with a z, outkaz, and that it had already been taken as it is a very popular domain name in Russian and Croatia…

Inspired by my friend’s website, www.madandmoonly.com, I turned to the poets since their word-smithing is fun and much more creative than I could ever be.

I dug deeply into my Norton’s Anthology and came up with this list of phrases that I found interesting or were from poems that I liked:

  • home is so sad (from the similarly titled poem by Philip Larkin, but … my website isn’t anything about home or being sad)
  • impossibility of crows (from a micro-story by Kafka.  It’s a clever story, but the phrase really doesn’t describe what this is all about)
  • antsinholes (from Ferlinghetti’s Dog poem which I love.  I thought it would make for a cool icon, but I’m not about ants and why in holes?)
  • somerevery, ifbeesarefew (Dickinson’s #1755 poem about bees and clover but it was either too vague or too specific and this isn’t a site about bee keeping)
  • littlearcticflower (again from Dickinson and while I identify with the poem’s character, I really don’t want to be seen as ‘little’, ‘arctic’ or ‘floral’)
  • narrowfellow (another Dickinson reference and while it’s a cool way to describe a snake, I found the term kind of naughty)

It started to become obvious that Dickinson was my man … er … poet, but I had to read more of her stuff to find those mots justes.  I found out that she wrote a lot about bees, butterflies, God and death which while they are terribly fascinating, are a bit too mundane/scary to describe me and my interests.

Finally I chanced upon this gem:

The Bird in her punctual music brings
And lays it in its place -
Its place in the Human Heart
And in the Heavenly Grace -
What respite from her thrilling toil
Did Beauty ever take -
But work might be electric Rest
to those who Magic make - (P 1585)

For me, my vocation of developing structures and systems that facilitate a creative act is such a pleasure, it really is more of an electric rest than work.  And it really does seem like magic once the product is ‘on line’ and you see how all of your intended and unintended choices affect the users.