Thursday, June 15, 2006


Being one who is fond of multiple meanings behind words and phrases I have great fun with names. Particularly names for things that are my own, or names that point to myself, and my own view of the world.

Many people know me by Kevin. They are mostly relatives and co-workers, and institutions and organizations. Many people also know me by Basil. They are mostly friends, brothers and sisters, from Church. Some people know me by both. Some people know me by other names, and they are mostly writers, and editors - people in the fiction industry. But they are a fairly insignificant lot of people by and large. Most know me by Basil or Kevin.

Kevin is an interesting name: it means "kind one." There was also a famous Kevin, a holy man in the Orthodox Church, at a time before the Roman Catholic Church romanicized England, when the Christian Church in England still had a distinctly local flavor. Some refer to him as a Catholic Saint, some refer to him as a Anglican Saint, but I prefer to think of him as an Orthodox Saint: because he lived his holy life in a time when the Church of England was a local Church, just as the Christian Church is in every place - something that the Orthodox today still prize highly in their Ecclesiology.

When I became an Orthodox Christian, I could have chosen St. Kevin as a patron (someone to whom I look for inspiration and someone who, like a guardian angel, will watch over and pray for me). There is much to like about him. But, instead, I chose to add another name:


There are many good reasons I chose the name Basil. For one thing, one of the greatest saints in the Orthodox Church (St. Basil The Great) and one of the most unusual saints in the Orthodox Church (St. Basil the Blessed) had this name. What's more, one of the wierdest, and coolest Churches on the planet is named after St. Basil the Holy Fool. For another thing, I knew from my Greek that basil derives from the Greek word for king. And, third, basil is a delicious and fragrant herb.

What's not to like about such a name!

So, I felt like a miracle had happened when I discovered that the domains and were available, and registered them both several years ago. Here you can go to snatch up a sprig of basil at any time. My random thoughts, my musings, my photos. I keep some things well rooted there and established so you can refer back to them at any time. I keep other things there, enshrouded in mist.

One such things is this notion I've presented: growing green from the cross. It is all about St. Helen's (my wife's patron, by the way) discovery of the cross of Christ, and the legend associated with it: that the King's Herb (basil) was growing from that cross.

There are many other legends and traditions associated with the Holy Cross of Christ. (How can it not be Holy when it has had the blood of God himself splattered on it?) I will not debate them. But they are "pious legends" - that is, they are legends that tell truths that inspires us, help us in some way, and may benefit our spiritual growth (if we are willing). They do this whether they are just stories, or historical fact: so it matters not, their historical accuracy.

That's what basilsprig is all about. I hope you will come to enjoy it. Put a bit in your tea, or in your salad, or just bask in the sunshine along with the king's herb.