Otonashi-no-taki, (the Silent Falls), is a decent name, as far as names go. I read the story of its naming this morning, up in Ohara north of Kyoto. It came from monks who meditated so intensely they could not hear the water falling around them.
A couple of kilometres upriver from the Silent Falls, I found a smaller waterfall. It had no name.
Alone, high in the wooded hills, I felt the need to give it one. The possibilities were limitless. No, that`s not true actually. The possibilities were strictly limited to the contents of my brain – mostly names of chubby 3rd Division footballers from the early 1990`s. But calling it the Tony Kelly Falls would help nobody, least of all Tandoori Tony.
I looked around the forest for inspiration. Out of the corner of my eye, a wooden sign I had not noticed came into view. My heart sank. He already had a name: Waterfall Number Three.
Poor bugger. Names bring expectations. HIs fate is sealed. However well he develops, nobody will get excited about a name like Number Three. He might as well give up now.
I decided names are a distraction. We would be better off without them. Have everything judged on face value. My tour leading would definitely become more interesting without them. Travellers would have to think more, fill in the gaps. Imagine it:
“On today`s tour we are going to visit………..”
“The red thing you have just eaten is raw …………”
“To catch your flight home, please be at the ………… by 7pm. Don`t be late!”