Day 541: Change Of Plans


Turns out I will be going out today after all.

A bit of a miscommunication there, I suppose, when I mentioned last night that Jeannette and her mom would be going out today with Blazer. Turns out yours truly will be driving them. The doctor's appointment is at 2:30, the massage for Jeannette is at 5 something, so we'll be out for most of the day today. It's not what I'd planned on, but when you have a kid, and especially when there's another one so close to arriving, you have to roll with the changes to your schedule. It's a necessity of life I'm afraid and a practice that will save you a lot of heartache and stress if you're able to lock it in and make it your natural reaction to the constantly changing nature of events in the world. 

I'm close to that, but not quite there yet. 

Nevertheless, when I was informed that I would be coming I merely nodded and said, "Sure, no worries." They'll drop me off at the coffee shop downtown between appointments so I can get some work done while they go off looking for more things that we need. Really, it's all just busy work until this kid comes! We're all aware of it, I'm just the only one who will call it what it is. Baby busy work. 

Jeannette may have made a big mistake by allowing me to come for the ride.

You see, currently if we have a girl we have determined to name her Mackinley Darwin MacDonald. Mackinley was a joint venture on our part, as we saw the name at the same time some months ago and both went, "ohhhh, that's a good name for a girl." It's been Mackinley ever since. Little Mac for short, as my father has always been Big Mac. However the middle name... well that had been my idea around the same time and was at first met with some displeasure by Jeannette. Since then however, she's gotten on board with the idea and says she now sees the name everywhere. 

But I've changed MY mind. 

I've mentioned this before, I'm sure, though I can't remember when that would have been. Still, there's a name I remember seeing a long, long time ago, in one of my favourite books of all time; Aztec, by Gary Jennings. The main character of that book, of which there have been many sequels, all seeming to have many more copies in circulation than the original, had a wife during the course of the story. I remember reading the book thinking, "oh, if I ever have a little girl I want this character's name for hers." It had something to do with the character herself, if memory serves, about what kind of woman she was, but also has something to do with the way her fate played out in the book and what it did to the main character.  

Only problem is, I can't remember the name, and can't for the life of me find the book. 

Oh sure, I could order it on Amazon and have it delivered to the house, but that's hardly any fun. I'd much rather happen upon it while out and about, finding it under some interesting circumstances that would make for a great story later on in life, when I'm telling young Mackinley where her middle name came from. Hardly interesting if I tell her I just went online and ordered a copy from some faceless human on the other side of the continent. 

There happens to be a public library right near where Jeannette is planning on dropping me off. Danger! Especially considering she wants no part of this new name, whatever it happens to be. As I've said, she's got her heart set on Darwin, though I think she wants to spell it with a y, as in Darwyn. And look, I don't mind the name, hell, it was my idea after all! -though I'm not sure about the 'y' spelling. I have a strong affinity for Charles Darwin and the theory of evolution that changed the course of the modern world forever.

Of course, the more you look into ancient beliefs and cultures, this probably wasn't as earth shattering an idea to them as it was to us; much like Christopher Columbus "discovering" the Americas. Um... no. There were human cultures here for a very long time before Master Columbus ever rolled through with his modern books of history and geography. 

So yes, Darwin is a modern day master. A man who came to an understanding of how the function of nature worked quite on his own, while wandering around a certain island collection sitting and staring at a bunch of finches.... I'm paraphrasing of course. If we end up settling on that middle name there are far worse ones we could have chosen and I will be satisfied with it, having that great historical figure to tell young Mackinley about.

Darwin himself was a deeply religious man who saw his own theory being a burden to the church he so loved, and realized it was going to cause some problems to his culture's understanding of God and nature. And yes, many of his ideas were misunderstood, as happens with any great mind I think, but for the most part he was a great man who at the very least helped our discombobulated society get back on a track that I'm arguing we've been on before. 


I'll have a couple of hours to locate that book before they pick me up again. I'm trying to withhold judgement on my chances, but as I sit here writing, imagining as I am both the size of the public library in question, and the general state of the downtown core of Kentville, I'm doubtful. Still, I will give it my all and see what I can come up with.

We're getting down to the wire here for sure. I've checked old bookstores and new ones with no luck. I've never made a trip out for the sole purpose of finding the book you understand, I just think of it while we're out doing something else. With the due date being tomorrow, I'm running out of time. If I want to avoid naming my daughter after a bearded man who caused a tear in the very fabric of western religion, I've got to move fast. 

In the end it's all about spin. It's not Darwin's fault that a guy like Richard Dawkins uses his work to spit in the face of believers all over the world. Nor is it Mackinley's fault that Gary Jenning's master work has fallen so unfavourably out of print. These are just the details we have to deal with my friends. Doesn't really matter what happens anyway, as when it all comes together it'll be a rather simple thing to weave it into a fun little story that'll put a kid happily to bed sometime in the future. 

I'm reminded of the sheep wool a friend of mine had requested I bring her back from Australia while I was there for a year backpacking. Genuine sheep wool from the body of a sheep, was the request I'd gotten, and in the entire nine months I was there I didn't even come close to getting it for her. As my girlfriend and I were in a mall in Sydney waiting to get a cab to the airport, sitting in a food court eating some food, while I was lamenting the one thing I wasn't able to do in a trip that was otherwise amazing, an announcement came over the loud speakers: Farmer so and so was arriving at the mall to show people proper sheep shearing techniques. 

My girlfriend and I stumbled over to where this was happening and were literally stunned when he asked if anyone wanted to feel how the wool is when it comes fresh off the body of the sheep. I shot forward and picked up a handful, surprised both by the fact that I was holding a clump of sheep wool on the LAST DAY in Australia, and by how soft and oily it was! I then balled it up in my fist, shoved it in my pocket and fled the mall, my girlfriend close on my heels. A few hours later we were in the air.

I'd smuggled it onto the plane in that little pocket in your jeans, above the main one, that no one has ever used for anything. 

Perhaps Gary Jennings will be doing a reading at the public library today in Kentville! Imagine. 

Wish me luck.