©2022 Michael Raven

It’s been a rough day, between getting a new pair of glasses for computer work that seem…. off? And not just “I need to get used to them” off, but “why is everything a lopsided trapezoid when I try to look at my PC” kind of off. Then the poor planning of others at work (and more that made me wonder what they thought I asked for when I gave them a task), frustrations at the loom, fussy eaters, and other sundry annoyances.

I don’t know how forthright I’ve been about it, but I’ve lately been unconvinced that I am Michael Raven still. Something is changing. Someone?

I say to myself, “Of course, you’re Michael Raven. It’s been your pen name for several decades now, fer cryin’ out loud. Don’t give me this shit.”

But another part of me has quietly been shaking its head. “Too slick. Too cool. You’re neither, mate,” he tells me. “I used to be cool,” I protest. He shakes his head. “Nah. Never cool. Interesting, maybe. Cool? Never. You could bullshit at one time, but you’ve lost that skill. Besides, it was mostly booze that made you a great bullshitter, and now that you’ve been sober for so many years? Pfft. Nothing. No slick, no cool.”

“I could go by my legal name.” The first me tips the chair he’s been rocking on two hind legs a bit too far and lands ass over teakettle, while other me accidentally lets the cigarette drop out of his mouth as he’s waving his arms cross and back in the universal “cancel that” gesture.

They agree on that little matter.

The first alternate name I came up with seemed like a bad choice, considering that there are news articles about some young guy spree-murdering folks under that moniker — which was is his legal name. Doesn’t seem prudent.

Another variation I came up with not only a) is associated with a death metal act, and b) an art studio in the NW Coastal states.

Yet another is associated with a cheap whiskey and a folk band (which might also be naming themselves after that whiskey). Jeeze. And both bands have a Michael as one of their key performers and songwriters. Talk about embarrassing if someone confuses us…

The last option I came up with is, in many ways, the one that probably should have been the first one based on my interests. I’m still toying with it in my head and remain undecided, but lean towards it as being a name that nets my essence more than most of the ideas so far — although I was really annoyed with the death metal band name, as it seemed like something would never have come up with under any circumstance. Instead… Two people use it. Jeeze.

It has a minor problem: that people will draw inferences about the meaning that ignore the linguistic elements of the second element of the two-part name (linguistic meaning is the actual intent, although I am well aware of the proper name‘s usage in mythology).

At least a few people will wonder why I am bothering at all.

For the record, the current name under consideration is “Crow Scáthach”. Or, more simply, “Crow”.

While I could use “Crow Scáth” and get the same linguistic “feel”, the “-ach” has a better mouthfeel.

For those unfamiliar with the reference, as a proper noun, the second part of the name is associated with a warrior woman from the Ulster Cycle of myth. She trains the hero Cú Chulainn in the art of combat. Seeexxxxy, right? Insert eyeroll.

But it is actually the common noun that interests me for the name, “scáthach” which translates as “shadowy”. You know… sceadugengan = shadow-goer/shadow-walker and scáthach echoes that. The shortened version, “scáth” translates as “shadow”.

While the former carries some baggage, I feel it is more balanced as a name with its three syllables.

Crow means crow. I have my personal reasons for switching to a different member of the corvus genus that I’ll get into if you buy me a coffee and lend me an ear for a few hours. Okay, several coffees.

I haven’t decided to adopt this quite yet as my new handle.

Maybe just “Michael Scáthach”. That works too.

Or, maybe, I actually have and I’m just getting around to it tonight. The first me is nodding approval and the second me has found his cigarette and looking thoughtful.

Drop me a comment if you have strong feelings about the matter. Or mild feelings. Or think this is really kind of stupid.

5 thoughts on “Namely

    1. I thought I was committed to “Michael Raven” (after 25 years), but I’ve been getting strong hints that I should reconsider that commitment. While I am not change-adverse, I hesitate to rock the boat too much after that length of time.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, I love change, which is why I’ve never committed to tattoos, even though I like tattoos, and I know what art I would get, yet I still hesitate! I say go where your intuition is leading you!


  1. I’m intrigued by your changes and how you are claiming a new path for yourself in so many ways. It’s inspiring as I feel on the cusp of big changes myself, although I’m more standing on the ledge leaning right now than leaping like you.

    Liked by 1 person

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