What’s in a Name?
The Story Behind “Margaret Anna Alice”
“‘Who in the world am I?’ Ah, that’s the great puzzle!”
—Alice, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
“‘The time has come,’ the Walrus said,
‘to talk of many things:
“‘Of shoes—and ships—and sealing wax—
of cabbages and kings—’”
—The Walrus, Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll
I have always remembered what my third-grade teacher wrote in my “All About Me” booklet we had to create for a homework assignment:
I found it insulting that out of all the things she could say about me, that’s what she came up with. But I’ve never forgotten it, and now I quite like the epithet.
That same teacher later took me to the mall, where she bought me an Orange Julius. She was probably trying to draw me out of my shell. We picked out a gift for my mom, whom she wanted to thank for helping out in the classroom throughout the year, including painting a Thanksgiving mural that filled one of the walls. We chose a pair of small gold hoop earrings with a braided texture. I wonder if she still has them (update: she does).
While far from shy now, I’m still an introvert, and I am at my happiest writing, reading, researching, making videos, “audiocooking” (cooking while listening to audiobooks), and living in the creative flow of what I feel destined to do—with my husband across the room living in his own creative flow and kitties within petting distance of us both.
That euphoria soars when I connect with fellow members of my karass and we spark off one another as together we fulfill our wampeter by using our talents to create something magical together that has the power to wake the world.
Thanks to a whim that led me to launch my Substack on April 25, 2021, I have enjoyed the privilege of following my creative bliss and connecting with some of the bravest, brilliantest (it should be a word), funniest, and warmest individuals in the world, and my heart swells with joy when I contemplate the blessings that tendriled out from that one momentous step.
But something else happened that April 25 afternoon.
I have confided this in a handful of my most trusted friends over the years, and now I’m ready to tell you, beloved supporters.
This will be my most personal post to date.
Although I generally avoid talking about myself (“too shy”), “The time has come,” as the Walrus says, “to talk of many things.”
If you are a friend who is learning this information for the first time here, I apologize. I have a long list of people I wanted to reach out to individually, but there simply isn’t time.
So, here goes.