This body I’m inhabiting has now accompanied the Earth on fifty turns around the Sun. Yes, that’s right, fifty years ago my little eyes first encountered our star and I began my journey. Every summer, when the planet tilts its northern pole forward in homage to the fusion reactor that keeps us all alive, I eat cake in celebration.
(Can you tell I’ve been translating a book about astrophysics and space travel?)
It’s an epic moment, to be sure. On a number of levels. Epic enough that I have decided to finally reveal what Gydle means.
It’s also particularly epic for me because, as I’ve mentioned before, I’m synesthetic. All my letters and numbers are imbued with color and mood. Weird, yes, but there you have it. My thirties were greenish-blue. My forties were a yellow-orange. Forty-nine, in particular, was yellowy brown. Ick. Heavy, weighty, the color of bodily excrement. It wasn’t a bad year at all, despite the number.
Fifty, you ask? Well, five is pure azure. Zero is silver. So 50 is about as different from 49 as you can get. Clean, pure, brilliant. Breath-mint fresh. On top of that, the word fifty – all those f’s and the t and the i – is fluffy and white, like cotton-ball clouds.
I’m all fluffy, sparkly, deep sky blue now. Light as a feather!
So, you’re saying. Fine. You’re a mutant. But what does Gydle mean?
Okay. Here goes.
You know how in families people give each other nicknames? Sometimes nice ones, sometimes not so nice ones? My family was gifted in this regard. My brother Rob had a particular knack for irritating his siblings with creative monikers. He called my sister Sandy Eggshell. Later, when she complained of being fat, he called her Tubser. Tubs, for short. That one stuck.
Rob assigned Dave, my CTO, for reasons unknown to anyone, the name Agid. Then for a long time he suffered as Turkey. Who knows? But thankfully that one gave way to Hubbince. Tuff Hubbince, to be exact. Hubs for short.
Sandy got back at Rob, making him dress up as a girl and go by the name Judy. Later, when she got a real live sister and didn’t have to pretend he was a girl, he grew into the name he has held to this day: Ba. There’s even a ballad to Ba that involves burping and barfing.
Wait a minute! my sibs are saying. You’re not supposed to tell everyone about our names!
Ha! Tough! I’m just getting back at you because each of you gave me a name and I didn’t give any out myself.
The name Rob gave me was Brat. Yes, I know. Creative. Sandy chose Wee Woolly Widget, Widgling for short, the reasons for which shall not be revealed, ever. And Dave called me Gydle, a kind of perversion of the word “girl”.
(UPDATE: Rob claims he originated it by calling me “guh” which was his version of “girl” and then Dave just embroidered upon it. I expect a sibling war to break out as soon as Dave returns from his summer trip to Europe.)
When I was cooking up this blog, I turned to Dave for assistance. What should I call it? I asked him. It couldn’t be some boring thing like my name. I couldn’t think of anything.
His answer: Gydle, of course!
And so it was. And now you know.
I have decided to celebrate this momentous moment with an epic adventure, but more on that in a future post.
Here’s a little song to mark my trip around the Sun, a particularly meaningful one to me. Big Al Anderson came to Santa Fe and sang this to my Dad when he was dying of cancer, and then came back and sang it again at the memorial service. Every time I have a birthday I remember that we’re all just taking trips around the Sun. My resolution? Like Big Al says, not to make any more resolutions. I”ll just enjoy my ride.