As a young child, I went through different stages of nicknames. Based on my age, personality, and of course the fact that I was simply adorable, my nickname was a simple one. Candy. It was fitting. Candy is sweet, it’s yummy, and everybody wants some. So, it stuck, until I got a little older that is. The older we get the less “cute” and “sweet” we are.  So, my nickname evolved into Candy Cane. Of course this happened one holiday season. Perhaps while snatching a candy cane from the tree. I can only imagine it was probably some tasteless joke my brother made that started it all. But Candy Cane wasn’t a name that lasted very long. It was suitable, but it’s probable that it contained too many syllables for a nickname (3), and so defeated the purpose. It was easier to just say my first, 2-syllable name. So, it was back to Candy.

As I got older and was growing into a young woman, Candy no longer seemed to be appropriate. The men in my family didn’t take kindly to how older men said my nickname. For some reason, their voices would drop three octaves, their eyes would glaze over, and I was suddenly washed with an uncomfortable feeling. It only took one time for my dad to witness this exchange first-hand before he abruptly dropped the “candy” and simply called me, Cane.

I am Cane, not to be confused with the wayward son of the Bible who slaughtered his brother in blind jealousy. I love my brothers and sisters and therefore have no intention of doing away with them. Besides, it is, after all, a different spelling. I’m often asked why Cane?  After years of telling the preceding story, the simple answer is . . . Because it’s me.

“Cane” is defined as the hollow, jointed stem of a tall grass, esp. bamboo or sugar cane, or the stem of a slender palm such as rattan. Examples of canes include a reed, staff, or walking stick. No, I’m not hollow. However, when you think about tall grass, bamboo, and palms, all of these “canes” are extremely resilient. They resist storms, strong winds, heavy rains, and still produce beautiful healthy foliage. The function of a staff or walking stick is to provide support.

I am resilient when going through the storm. I may get bent; may even suffer some slight damage, but I continue to bounce back and press on. I’m in no way implying that I’m indestructible. But, it’s like the old cliché, “What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.” I am made stronger by my life experiences. We all are. As for the “walking stick”, I have always felt the need to support others. Please don’t get excited. We are not talking financial support here. But, emotional, physical, moral support. This is and always has been my way. So though Cane may not be the most feminine choice of a nickname, it is my nickname. It is who I am.

At this point in my life, I am recreating myself; rediscovering my passion; venturing into a new career. Writing is creative, inspiring, therapeutic. For me, it is an integral part of my peace of mind. I am relaxed when I write. I am in a majestic state of mind when consumed in my writing. I can literally lose myself in my word-therapy. CreatingCane is the re-creation of who I am, my therapy, my life. Creating words; creating me; creating Cane. And this is only the beginning.

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