Every time someone asks me about my last name, I feel a sense of pride. As I’ve mentioned before, my partner and I made a choice when we got married, to select a shared last name that reflects what we value and stand for.
Last weekend we were at the local floral shop buying some succulents for the living wall that K constructed out of “scrap wood” from his shop and when the cashier saw our last
name on my credit card she asked, “Sound, is that a translation or something?” We told her how our last name came to be and she smiled, saying, “I grew up in Seattle and love whales.” Immediately, I understood that her default definition of ‘sound’ was of the narrow stretch of water variety—as in, Puget Sound.
This brief encounter reminded me of how our physical environments inform our identities. It reminded me that perceptions of a single phenomena can vary widely (the dress is white and gold, no it’s black and blue!). It made me think about all the misunderstanding that leads to anger, fear, and lost lives.
I wish we all took the time to understand each other more fully.