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Monday, August 22, 2016

A man sits hunched over a table by candlelight...and then... he writes my name.

      There is a drop that forms in the middle of every honeysuckle flower. If you rush, and try to get it out too soon, it simply isn't there yet. And if you wait even a little too long it'll dry up before it ever becomes yours.
    But... when the timing is perfect you pull the center string and that dewy drop slides along and out of the pinched off end and lands on your tongue and hits your tastebuds, and it's like...it's like... the meaning of my name. "all sweetness" from Greek (pan) "all" and (meli) "honey."
      And as I ponder this, I can't help but wonder who the first person was to do this most amazing  honeysuckle thing and then...I wonder what their name was.
       But now, picture this...it's 1560-ish, and Sir Philip Sidney leans over a desk by candlelight. The wax makes a pool at the base of the candleholder and spills over onto the the old oak desk as he dips his quill pen into the night black ink. "Pamela," he says as he places the pen against the onion paper. He begins to write. "Yes."
     "And so she might perceaue that Pamela did walke vp and down, full of deep (though patient) thoughts. For her look and countenance was setled, her pace soft, and almost still of one measure, without any passionate gesture, or violent motion: till at length (as it were) awaking, & strengthning her selfe, Well (she said) yet this is the best, & of this I am sure, that how soeuer they wro[n] g me, they cannot ouermaster God."  (A excerpt from Pamela's Prayer (Arcadia 111.6) in it's original language and writing.)
     And so...this was the moment my name was born. This quiet moment of a man amidst his searching and want. Was it really by candlelight? I picture it so. A waning moon and a sky full of stars and a poet in the dark trying to find the perfect name for his person. And the name was Pamela.
     You must know that I love this story of my name for I am a creature of story love. Those of you that know me well, know this. 
     And soo... from now till forever I will picture Sir Philip leaning over the candle in the dark with the stars and the waning moon. And will thank him for the deep and beautiful contemplation of my name. Pamela. All sweetness and honey. 
     And with this knowledge, do I want to live up to it's meaning? "Yes." My answer is "Yes," I do. Will I? Most definitely not. 



Footnotes: (Sir Philip Sidney also wrote, "Dorus to Pamela" sometime between 1554 to 1586, and in "The Old Arcadia" Book 1, also written by Sidney, the eldest daughter of Duke Basilius also had my name.)
And In 1740, another author, Samuel Richardson, used the name Pamela as the heroin in his novel, "Virtue Rewarded." It was after this that Pamela was used as a given name. It did not become popular until the 20th century.