The Importance of Names

It took me a long time to decide what to rename my bike.  I finally got my dream bike, so it was a lot of pressure to find a name that I like and that is appropriate to the spirit of the bike.  I tend to keep things for a long time, so I know that this name will stay with me for years to come.  Not only is this the bike that I have always wanted and desired to be mine, I dreamt about the bike moments before it came into my life.  I dreamt that I found the bike in a thrift store for $35 dollars, and upon awakening I was very sad when I realized that the fortunate bike was just a mental muse. Not that I expected to get my dream machine for a price that was super fortunate, it was, after all, a dream.

The very next day, my coworker informs me that he has a bike, a split frame mixte Peugeot (no big deal, just the most coveted old school bike style in all of Chicagoaland), that he does not want (too small for him) and that I can have for my very own!  Imagine my excitement.  My dream came true, exactly true, beautifully true.  My dream bike is finally mine to have and to ride and to possess for decades to come.  A new and best companion to share my road time adventures, to be the reason for my trips, to fulfill the need of transportation and exercise.

The bike came with the name Reptar, which is a mighty fine name, but it is not the name that I would choose for my fabulous contraption of a bike.  I spend a lot of time on my bike, so the machine needs a name that embodies the spirit and energy we create together.  I spent a long time thinking about names.  Fillip, Sebastian, Cruella, Pierre, Cosmos, Galactica, Constellation, Alfredo (after my dad), Moonlight, Jupiter, Jack (after my grandpa), Parsnip, Fernet… the list was long.

I finally decided on a name the same day I decided that I was going to pursue a new career opportunity.  After having landed on a name for the bike, I felt confident that I could make a descision about my future.  I needed some sense of permanence, a constant theme, to help me commit to a new environment. I needed to feel secure in a choice, albeit not as important as a job, to feel a personal sense of security.  I felt more clear in the brain.  It gave me a sense of peace, closure, and serenity.

Turnip.  That’s the name.  Turnip Greenz.  The bike is old and the paint job does not have the clean sharp white that it must have worn 45 years ago when it was created.  It has a black seat post, black handle bar post, and black tape wrapped around the handle bars.  Together, this reminds me of a turnip pulled fresh from the ground, covered in thick, life giving dirt.

Turnip is also named after the constant companion in Howl’s Moving Castle.  Turnip is a scarecrow that skips on a stick, following the protagonist around, providing help, company, and joy.  Turnip does not speak, can only bounce to get around, but is my favorite character in the story.  He follows the character around wherever she may go, without asking, without hesitation or invitation, but is the hero of the story.  Turnip Greenz is my jolly, my bouncing and energetic companion, my constant for adventure, who does not speak but provides an irreplaceable role.  Turnip is the unspoken hero to the story. Turnip is the unspoken means to my end.

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One thought on “The Importance of Names

  1. Interesting naming process of a bike..giving way to actually believing in dreams coming true, and, realizing the life-long significance of assigning a name and what all goes along with that. As your (apparent) usual style, the serious undercurrent of the content is told with a delightful spirit and realistic pen.

    Like

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