The Queen of Doughnuts
Candace: ancient hereditary title of the queens of Ethiopia. Name for an entire dynasty, not a single individual. In Latin: Shining. Variants: Candis, Candayce, Kandace (English), Kandake (Biblical Greek). And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasure (King James Bible, Acts 8:27).
Observe: a name festooned with promise. An opulent name given by a Puritanical mother. A mother who would have been more likely to name a daughter something sackcloth, unassuming. Norma — no, Jane. The arrow, not the feather. A hole, no sugar. An empty house. A mother who warned, Don’t expect too much, you won’t be disappointed. Some fancy took hold, and she might have thought she would find love for a girl granted such entitlement.
To live inside a name is living inside a skin someone else has stitched on. Not always comfortable or secure. As a child, I could not ask/make people call me my given name, so loose the fit. Instead, they chose Candy. Diminutive. Confectionary. Joke. Candy. Not to be heeded or attended. Candy occupied by a meek slip of a girl. When I left that land, I claimed Candace, then slowly, slowly grew into its dominions.
Candace Pearson is a Guest Writer for Panorama.
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