Sunday, March 29, 2009

Alas, poor Mercatrude

It seems only fitting that the patron saint of divorced people is not really a saint you would lay claim to, and probably not anyone you would want to hang around with. The early life of the royal Guntramnus, son of King Clotaire and Queen Clothildis, gave no indication that he would get religion in his later years. The story, as told by St. Gregory of Tours, generally considered reliable, is that Guntramnus divorced the fair Mercatrude. But within the year she became desperately ill and her physician was unable to cure her. So Guntramnus ordered his henchmen to murder the physician. Given the state of medicine in 6th century France, this seems a bit unfair. And the divorce business is unclear and confusing as well. Of course Guntramnus is not a saint for having killed his ex-wife’s quack doctor. No. After that he saw the error of his ways, converted and became a kind and tender ruler. His skull is kept in a silver reliquary in the church of Saint Marcellus, but I do not know where that it so it is unlikely I will be making a pilgrimage there any time soon.

On another note, CSB and I are trying to name our farm, which involves the hubris of calling it a farm in the first place.
CSB: How about Riverview Farm?
Me: That’s so generic.
CSB: It’s accurate.
Me: What do you think about C&C Ranch?
CSB points out that we are not in the west, have no cattle and no firearms. He prefers: Draper Homestead Farm
I say we are already next to a Draper Park. How Dew Drop Acres (homage à Nabokov)?
No comment.
What’s Time to the Hogs Farm, CSB suggests. I immediately concur and call his bluff.
And what is wrong with Let it Bee Farm? I ask.
Back to square one.
What about Mercatrude Farm, I ask, having just discovered the fair Mercatrude and not wanting to forget such a mellifluous name.
CSB: What does that mean?
Me: It’s the name of a long dead divorcée.
CSB: Next?
This is not an idle task. Naming matters. Ask Linnaeus if you don’t believe me.


pond said...

how about:
Poison Ivy Farm
Saint Bee Acres
Large Sculptures Out Back Farm

Christine Lehner said...

Pond, whoever you are, I love the names.Thank you.

Michelle Krell Kydd said...

"Fiacre Fields" (after the patron Saint of gardeners, as your bees drink the nectar from local flowers and the word "acre" is embedded in the Saint's name).