What’s in a name?
Updated: Dec 25, 2021
It’s Irish Andy’s fault!
Irish Andy is brilliant. He’s funny and cheeky. He’s from Anderstown, Belfast of all places, and grew up there during the height of ‘The Troubles’ when Anderstown was a hotbed of activity. He is lucky to have the same birthday as me! He even tried to highjack my 50th. and claim the party as his. He is a great friend who I love very much.
The power of autosuggestion. Interesting. I’ve seen it in the cats; how their characters have developed and grown to resemble their names. It appears to have happened to me. I have been many things over the years, though always a traveller at heart. At the time, I had immersed myself into the Falmouth scene after finding myself in an annexe I originally didn’t want, thanks to my girlfriend at the time insisting on me having a home. The first thing to happen was that I had to stop being a lorry driver, which in turn caused the relationship to take a nosedive.
The annexe is part of an old ex brewery in the middle of ‘student flats-land’. The hubbub of which was a pub (correctly, inn) known as the Jake’s. It wasn’t just students who frequented there. There were locals and many other talented clientele. It was there that I met Irish Andy, along with many other interesting characters.
And it was Irish Andy who first called me Wiz.
It didn’t take long for the name to catch on. In fact, over time, there were embellishments. Wiz became Merlin, Merlin became Gandalf and Gandalf got shortened to G. There were others, used derogatorily. Moses and Jesus springs to mind. A beautiful unicorn faerie I know, thinks of me more as Radagast as he is more earthy, certainly compared to the more flamboyant Gandalf. I did have a moment when if all my names were brought together, my full name would read, ‘Psychedelic Steve Gandalf the Cat Wizard’!
I like to put a positive spin on things. Everything in life is a lesson. None of it is negative, unless you choose to see and latch on to negativity. The following is a short story as an example:
Some years ago, I was at a festival. I don’t remember which. I remember that the party arena was fenced off using heras fencing. The main reason for surrounding areas with fencing is to demarcate the ‘licenced’ area for legal reasons. Just as with a pub or club, it is illegal to consume alcohol bought in from outside. The camping ground is not licenced. There were gates in the fencing that were the entrance to the official festival arena. At the gate, security personnel loiter, stopping anyone they suspected of flouting the rules or merely hassling anyone they disliked for the kick.
Each time I walked through the ‘gate’, I did so unhindered. However, each time, I heard the laughter and banter which went along the lines of, “Oh look. There goes Moses.” or “Haha. Look at Jesus!” I always ignored the childish banter. Then on one occasion, the security man on the gate stopped me by asking, “Doesn’t it bother you?”
“Doesn’t what bother me?”, I asked.
“You know, all the piss-taking?”, he replied.
“Oh.”, I said, “You mean all that Jesus and Moses stuff. No. Why? Should it?”
“Well it would piss me off.”
“Look at it this way.” I said. “Every time I pass through this gate, you’re all laughing and joking. It brings light to an otherwise boring day standing around for hours on end.”
“Well yeah.”, he said.
“Good! Then I’m doing my job well.”, I explained.
There was then a sudden realisation that dawned across his face, then he said,
“I never thought of it that way.”
I smiled and I continued on my way.
Interestingly, the slurs stopped and were replaced with respect and brightness. Gone were the “There goes Jesus.” Now replaced with “Hello mate.”, “Good morning!” and the like.
I am often asked why I’m called Wizard. The answer is simple....
I am a Wizard!
One could argue that I look like a Wizard. Or that I’m a bit of a psychonaut. Or perhaps because I have administered psychedelics. Many, I guess will have their own take on it. Traditionally, though, a Wizard is like an Elder; a Wiseman.
Lots of wizardly things have happened to me and around me, as you will find out in due course.