My good friend, Swan, whom I met through Live Spaces, recently asked me if she should add to her online name. She thought that perhaps no one would be called Swan in the USA. However, in Denver, there are many Vietnamese with the name Swan and it also means "teacher" in Vietnamese so it’s rather common here.
However, I think that Swan is a very pretty name and being called by that name is like Cher and Madonna. They don’t need last names because everybody recognizes them by the single name. It makes me think of the part in the book The Little Prince when he discovers that the single rose on his planet is not so unique after he sees a huge rosebush full of rose blooms. I believe that each one is unique if you look close enough, though.
The following song is by Michael Ende from his book (which was originally published in German), The Neverending Story, in honor of Swan I hope you make the decision that’s right for you, Swan. Names are very important, I think, and a new one can give you a dynamic new adventurous life if it’s the right one. Good luck in your quest.
Listen and listen well
To the truth I have to tell.
Though your spirit may be blind
To the sense of what I say,
Print my words upon your mind
Before you go away.
Later you may dredge them up
From the depths of memory,
Raise them to the light of day
Exactly as they flow from me.
Everything depends on whether
You remember faithfully.
Who can give the childlike Empress
The new name that will make her well?
Not you, not I, no elf, no dijinn,
Can save us from the evil spell.
For we are figures in a book-
We do what we were invented for,
But we can fashion nothing new
And cannot change from what we are.
But there’s a realm outside Fantastica,
The Outer World is its name,
The people who live there are rich indeed
And not at all the same.
Born of the Word, the children of man,
Or humans, as they’re sometimes called,
Have had the gift of giving names
Ever since our worlds began,
In every age it’s they who gave
The Childlike Empress life,
For wondrous new names have the power to save.
But now for many and many a day,
No human has visited Fantastica,
For they no longer know the way.
They have forgotten how real we are,
They don’t believe in us anymore
Oh, if only one child of man would come,
Oh, then at last the thing would be done.
If only one would hear our plea.
For them it is near, but for us too far,
Never can we go out to them,
For theirs is the world of reality.
But tell me, my hero, you so young,
Will you remember what I have sung?
With kisses and hugs for all,
The Castle Lady