I name everything. I name all my electronics, my kitchen appliances, my gadgets, my car, my computers, anything that winds up in the bed (pillows, stuffed animals, etc). When I was little, I named every single toy, all my dolls, all my stuffed animals – and I remembered everyone’s name, and said goodnight to everyone before sleep. (My dad, bless ’em, had to kiss everyone and say goodnight to all 50 of us before he could leave my room every night.)
I don’t just name things, though. I sit with things and let them tell me their names. Any time I name something different from what I get, I eventually cave and change it. I wanted to name my cat Morpheus, but his name is Phineas, and after I played with him for a few hours I knew Morpheus would never stick ’cause it wasn’t right. I’ve known every car I’ve ever sat in, whether it was mine or not. I’ve named trees and rocks and rivers, lamps and keys and wallets.
My iPod’s name is Silverfish. My car is Aimee. My microwave is Lamar. My pillow is Benny. My laptop’s name is Abbi. My bass is Lilith. My cell’s name is Mot.
I used to be afraid of technology. Terrified, in fact. I started buying CDs only when my third cassette of Jagged Little Pill broke and I couldn’t find a replacement. I started buying DVDs only when I couldn’t find Moulin Rouge! on VHS. I got a cell phone after our landline phone company took three months to get our landline installed, and even then failed to get it right – I spent four months with no phone whatsoever to avoid getting a cell, but finally acquiesced.
As I grew more into myself, I became more of a technopagan and realized that all things are connected. Each creature, be it technological or natural, has a spirit. I opened up and started listening to those spirits, and they gave me their names. It brings me closer to the gadgets and whatsits I use in my life and brings me joy and connection. I suspect it extends the life of my gadgets, too – we’re connected, so I often know when something is about to go wrong and can do preventative care. Plus, we’re friends so we want to treat each other well and work well together. (:
I hug my things, too. One night after a particularly grueling work session, I hugged Abbi (my laptop). It felt so good and made me so happy, I decided to do it more often. I sing sweetly to my iPod, I thank my microwave, I feed the fires of my stove, I dance for my refrigerator. I pet my car, kiss my TV, and snuggle my hoodie. All of this may seem silly, but it increases the amount of affection in my life. It makes me happy, lifts my spirits, and reminds me that I’m not alone even if I’m the only human around. It also helps me slow down and remember that I’m part of something bigger, reminds me of the connection I have with the world at large.
This is one of the biggest changes in my personal paradigm, one of the clearest ways in which I’ve grown. I used to be technophobic and now I’m a technopagan. I used to live in fear and now I live in love. I used to need control over, now I have connection with. This is a very real part of how I’m embodying the change I want to see in the world – I want a shift from the control paradigm (where fear rules and we’re oft disconnected and lost) to the connection paradigm (where love rules and we’re always connected and fulfilled).
Next time you’re feeling lonely or disconnected, hug your laptop. Sing to your iPod – it won’t care if you can’t carry a tune. Be grateful to your microwave or stove or pots & pans for helping you have food. Appreciate your TV or PS2 or Wii for providing you with entertainment. Pat the roof of your car. Listen. Feel your connection with things typically taken for granted, and see how your life is enriched!