What’s in a Name?

3:10 pm Friday afternoon, Mooloolaba, Qld, 1998

Teachers scurry down to the staff room, down a few XXXX beer, then dash off to surf, swim, or continue imbibing at the local surf club.

As with all things ‘travel’ you figure out how people have fun in their part of the world. This pre-weekend Aussie ritual offered a refreshing change from the West Vancouver school I’d left on a teaching exchange.

One such Friday afternoon I decided to launch myself into the world of e-mail. I needed a name. A just-right representation of me.

“Blivingrock!” Mike yelled from across the staff room table, beer in hand.

Immediately I loved it. Others do too I’m told.


Be Living Rock suggests strength over rough terrain and movement in even the hardest of times, to which I can attest. Strong yet vulnerable, hard yet porous.

Rocks are constantly moving and reshaping themselves, always by external influence. Strangely, my life has come to represent that of a Living Rock.


Rocks themselves are not alive. But a coral reef rock-like substance is continually produced from the skeletons of dead rock corals and the shells of mussels and other creatures which are bound together by sponges and calcareous algae.  A piece of living rock from a coral reef is a never-ending source of unique surprises.

(I love the last part!)

A recent Google search found Living Rock to be:

  1. a succulent South African plant
  2. a family church in Leicestershire, GB
  3. a song by Uncle Steve
  4. the name given to numerous churches in the USA
  5. a health resort
  6. a street name in Vegas
  7. a radio show In Rochester , NY
  8. a cavern
  9. a striker, protector and patriarch in a RuneScape
  10. a brand of South African red wine (love the label)
  11. a DVD title
  12. a ministry, fellowship and a foundation
  13. a description of Jeff Beck – world’s greatest living rock guitarist (OK, that’s a stretch)
  14. a studio museum in Brownsville Oregon
  15. an alternate name for Uluru, (Ayers Rock)
  16. an organic food store in Cairns

So it got me to thinking about how we are all Living Rock.

Consider the times you’ve stood by someone in need, helped them through a tough time, especially if you felt that without your support their struggle may have been immeasurably greater.  Remember that feeling?

Twice now I have sat beside a dying loved one. Agonizing yet beautiful. I was their Living Rock. 

Many others ‘bound together’ to keep me strong. They were my Living Rock.

Who has been a Living Rock in your life?

How did you express your gratitude? Is it worth reminding them one more time?






5 comments on “What’s in a Name?

  1. Just want to say I think you are doing a great job “living” your life. Now if only I can maintain you in the lifestyle you deserve!! Don’t you worry, I am working on it!!

  2. Rock on! Thanks for this, the ultimate stillness of the slowness of that vibration that keeps rock such condensed matter is the stillness where we listen, and empty, and where wisdom and grace have the space to arise naturally from within us.

  3. As always, your observations and questions are pithy and succinct, and the questions you set grip readers by the shirt-collars.

    Bravo — keep swinging for the fences….A