For some odd reason today I was reminded of a young nephew by marriage in Solomon Islands. For a long time I knew him as Lotion, which admittedly is an odd name. That’s what everyone called him and that’s what he answered to.
I imagined it must be a nickname and he probably earned it when he was young after an unseemly spill of insect repellent lotion or some similar story. That story pleased me because he was a pleasant young man and I could imagine him as a really cute funny toddler. All the toddlers I met in the villages were totally adorable. Pampered and loved, but somehow never spoilt, they were eager little puppies, keen to please and help in any way they could. They never complained if given a grown up task to do and would labour away while everyone laughed lovingly at their struggle.
But I digress.
One day I had to help Lotion fill out a form for school. He had to write his name and for the first time I saw it written in English. Lawson.
“So thats how you spell your name”I said.
“Yes, L A W S O N. Lotion”.
“In English we say that ‘Lawson'”
“Yes, that’s right, “Lotion”.
It didn’t matter how I pronounced it, Lotion heard his name. That was an insight to me, but I am still trying to figure out to what.