[ by Charles Cameron — a bridge & burial ground in Turkey, an Oregon creek & road, all named for death ]
There’s a certain power to names. Ursula LeGuin described it best, perhaps, when she wrote:
He saw that in this dusty and fathomless matter of learning the true name of every place, thing, and being, the power he wanted lay like a jewel at the bottom of a dry well. For magic consists in this, the true naming of a thing.
I included that quote in my post Indistinguishable from magic? six days ago, little realizing I would need it again so soon, but here we are: a dark magical DoubleTweet:
Scenic Bosphorous Bridge crossing the Bosphorous river, connecting Turkey w/ Asia to be renamed "Martyr's Bridge"' pic.twitter.com/5Ocso5D5dr
— ColorMeRed (@ColorMeRed) July 25, 2016
That’s the more positive of the pair — less so, I think, is this:
The Traitors' Cemetary, Istanbul, Turkey… pic.twitter.com/MJEEcn3tpz
— Gürkan Özturan (@Obefintlig) July 26, 2016
A couple of other notes from the poster of that second tweet:
The term “traitor” is still very loosely used in Turkey; some day may come, all those accusing eachother of treason might lie side by side.. Istanbul Metropolitan Mayor had announced the will to construct the Traitors’ Cemetary some days ago “for all to spit on when passing by”
When my Lakota mentor, Wallace Black Elk, came to teach a class in the building and ceremonial use of the stone people’s lodge (“sweat lodge”) at what was then Southern Oregon State College in Ashland, Oregon, the route to the site where we performed the rituals on Dead Indian Creek went along the clearly marked Dead Indian Road. Wallace always got a chuckle out of that.
But then, Wallace was glad Columbus told Queen Isabella he was en route for India, not Turkey — “Full-Blooded Turkey I’d be,” he’d say, “Native Turkey Movement, Bureau of Turkey Affairs..”
The road, though not perhaps the creek, has now been renamed: