Onomata — Me & My Cello

Photographs — Alex Waterhouse-Hayward

As an early teenager, 15, I fell in love with Anna María Ramos in Nueva Rosita, Coahuila in Mexico. I was in the 8thgrade in a room that also accommodated, in parallel rows, perpendicular to the large blackboard, the 7thand 6thgrade, My mother was our teacher. The school, I believe had two additional teachers and rooms for the other classes.

When I first gazed on the apparition, she had large black eyes and dramatic eyebrows; I knew I first had to know her name. Once I did I would think of the name and daydream. The name became the apparition of my delight. It was impossible to separate the name from the person. Anna became her name or perhaps it was the other way around. I was not yet aware of Plato’s forms so I had no idea on how naming things and persons is an exclusively human (very human) endeavour. To know more about this read here.

I have a new friend. His name is Curtis and he plays a baroque bass. He is most pleasant, he is intelligent and he is a warm person. But there is something that sets him apart from all the people I know. He is either unable or unwilling to name things.He told me that if he ever had children they would remain unnamed. Could the naming of things somehow make them ours and his reluctance to not name be a demonstration of a free spirit willing to live and let live?

Curtis came to Vancouver (he lives in the US) a few months ago and when I asked him if his bass had a name he told me no. It had to be my friend Patricia and her bass Nicolo who finally baptized Curtis’s bass Amelia suggesting that some basses are female and others male.

I have another friend, a baroque cellist and her cello seemed to be unnamed. In facebook postings I would read “Cello and I …” I enquired and I was told that cello was called Grace.

I must now confess that when I photographed a fine female librarian with her cello I did not ask for the cello’s name. Certainly, the pattern shows, that it must have one. I wonder.

Link to: Onomata — Me & My Cello


Originally published at blog.alexwaterhousehayward.com.