Every person has a name

Thursday, December 26th, 2013

How does one begin writing something when within me more than a thousand words are striving to get out? I have waited too long.

And yet, one has to start somewhere, so even if it seems very narcissistic, I will start with my name: Gila, because all in all, this is important both for the goal as well as the means for which I write. Do you think you'll read through?

So, as it was, I was almost named "Ditza". Our neighbor, who was also a rabbi, presented my parents with that verse, "Simcha, Tzahala, Ditza, Rina, Gila, Chedva" etc. " [=a rabbinical text counting the number of Hebrew words to express "happiness". All serve as feminine names]. Luckily, my older sister insisted I be named Gila.

Well, today I can say "luckily", but I used to be full of anger. Yes, at that age they call "teen", and even afterwards, that name felt disconnected from who I am, forcing me to be someone I'm not. I was brimming with criticism of this world, I couldn't see the point in this life, not to mention this spark of sadness which travelled with me everywhere I go, even when I was smiling. I loved my nicknames better. They were something closer to who I actually am. Gilgila (try saying it in a Yemenite accent), Jiljilan, Gilgul, Gilly. These nicknames were to me as if someone was tickling me, touching something within, grander than any external façade, connected to a profound, soft, inner essence with so much happiness, and, heaven forbids, Gila [=happiness] as well.

The poet Zelda wrote:

Every person has a name
given to him by God
and given to him by his father and mother.

What's in a name? You can see a name as a name, without meaning, a name to distinct you from others, just for identification's sake. On the other hand, this is a choice that has already been made for you, and whoever made that choice had given you something that was embedded, directly from them and into you, in this long (I sure hope) life's journey. In the course of your life, you will appropriate this name as your own (or, rarely, change it) and it will become one with your experiences.

I have found that the name Gila, beyond the initial meaning my parents instilled in it, has an additional meaning, which is Gilá = to discover, to always search for my own authentic way, my true path, to locate and discover the real me in this road we call life. This place we call the world is an endless journey of search and discovery. So, after God and one's parents give a person their name, Zelda goes on to count the names the person gets from their existence and the experiences they collect, and eventually that person becomes a much greater sum than that which was given to them in their infancy. A person would basically create their own name and essence out of what they express, when they bring out from within themselves in their interaction with the outside world…

Every person has a name
given to him by his stature and the way he smiles
and given to him by his clothing
Every person has a name
given to him by the mountains
and given to him by the walls

The poem goes on…

So how do you feel about your name? What connects you to your name? Is there anything that sets you apart? Burdens? Alienated? Foreign? What else do you know about yourself to make your name unique for you and your life?

So, what does my name have to do with the goal and means of writing this blog? Well, out of the many words and subjects of interest, I will search and discover something new every time, finding out what comes out from within me and into the world, and may the words, like water, let something else emerge from within, to everything its own time.

I wish that we all would discover ourselves and our spirits through an abundance of creation, achievements, sessions, connections, disconnections, happiness, sadness, fear and hope, to be firm and robust in our deeper, internal identity, and let it lead us, who knows where…

Written with love,

Gila