On the occasion of my 70th birthday, I’ve been reflecting on the diverse transferences with others that I’ve experienced throughout my life, and they were sometimes reflected in the evolution of my name and monikers alike.
The attached two-minute video captures it all, presenting a true sequence of evolving personas fired by the symbiotic synergies with others.
When we were done editing the video, once again I took the measure of my life’s turning points, and decided to adopt a name that would be a process: Transfourmer. It’s a universal appellation, with no tribal, cultural, national, or religious underpinnings.
A little background on how my names and monikers came to be:
I was baptized Hovhannes (after John the Baptist). But then my name was changed to Onnig, in memory of the departed son of my step-grandfather. Arriving in the US in my late teens, I became John. In my 20s, I collaged a deceased friend’s name onto mine, calling myself Kev-Onnig. In my 30s, friends called me Agima, which was what Jesus and his apostles addressed one another. Later I adopted the name Kardash (brother in Turkish), in gratitude to the Turks who saved my family from the Genocide of 1915. In my village, Stanfordville, New York, McOnnig is the name I like to be called. And in recent months I asked a friend for a new name for myself and he suggested Mardig, an Armenian word meaning warrior. I think Transfourmer, now my name of choice, is a good encapsulation of the transferences I’ve been honored to partake in.