Apr. 27th, 2010

gwyn_bywyd: Photo of a yellow orchid. (Default)
Apparently, more than I intended. I have to start by saying that I am absolutely pants at choosing names. That part on school-camp where you had to name your team? I almost preferred the (several) times my hair got caught in the ropes while abseiling.

So when the time came to choose a name on Dreamwidth, it didn't occur to me to choose a name that wasn't ... well, a name. Which is ridiculous, since I'm here because of someone with a non-name name. Gwyn has a similar meaning to my RL name. But it seemed to me not distinctive enough, so I needed another part. Here is where we encounter language-not-my-own fail. My own RL name has nuances of "light" - Gwyn does not (It mostly means "white"). But I thought I would try something roughly approximating "light and life."

Then I fell in love with the word "bywyd." In Welsh it means "life." But there is a play on words here. In several of the psalms, the psalmist seems to be suffering illness or disability. He writes "I am become a byword." (eg psalm 69.3 "I am weary with crying out, my throat is parched" verse 11 "I made sack-cloth my clothing and I became a byword to them.")  These psalms resonated very strongly with me, especially in the second 6 months of my illness (ordination deferred indefinitely, living back with parents, too ill to care for myself, nearly incapable of finishing the simplest essay) So, my name had to include "Bywyd."

Now, if I had been thinking I would have gone with just Bywyd. But no, I went with Gwyn Bywyd. A while afterward, I had the horrid moment of realisation that my newly-set-up online name could be read as some white supremacist shit. Eeeekkk. I just kinda crossed my fingers and hoped that it wouldn't seem that way. I am tremendously grateful to [personal profile] llygoden (who actually speaks Welsh) for a discussion about this issue.

As to why this whole name thing was in Welsh, which I do not speak, when I actually have a fair few languages (mostly dead) Well. As a child, we lived in England, and did a lot of travelling on the weekends. I felt an instant and deep connection to Wales when we visited that I've never experienced anywhere else with the same intensity and speed. It was an intensely spiritual experience, that made an enormous impact on my nine-year-old self. We later discovered that we do have some Welsh blood, though Scottish, Irish and Scandinavian are much more prominent in our family history. Our visit to St Winifred's Well was one of the times in my early life when I was most aware of the sacred. I am utterly thrilled to be planning my first visit back there in June. So soon now! \o/

So, gwyn bywyd will be my name for now, until the fabulous Dreamwidth folks create a way of changing names, after which it will be bywyd.


gwyn_bywyd: Photo of a yellow orchid. (Default)

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