Thursday, April 28, 2011


Even before I became involved with the San Francisco Olympians Festival, my family and I were naming our computers after Greek mythology (with one detour into the Hindu pantheon).

My first computer was Athena -- goddess of wisdom.

Then I had Sarasvati -- named after the Hindu goddess of art and literature, whose symbol is the swan.

Next came Orphée -- yes, you read that right, Orphée, not Orpheus. I used the French version of the name because I got the computer when I was in France (Sarasvati having sung her swan song) and was feeling inspired by Cocteau's quasi-mystical belief in the Orpheus legend.

But two weeks ago, Orphée descended into the Underworld and didn't come back, and rather than trying to resuscitate him, I decided it might be time for a new machine. Say hello to Zephyrus.

Zephyrus is a MacBook Air, and I think I'm in love. Who was it that said "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic?" (I remember being an imaginative little girl, wanting to believe that fairy tales were true, and asking my father "Daddy, do you believe in magic?" And, ever the computer geek, he would reply "Well, any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic...") With Zephyrus, it's easy to feel the magic. It's amazing that everything I need or want in a computer can now fit into a machine that weighs less than three pounds. I have visions of myself toting it everywhere, writing in every coffee shop in town.

And as for the name? There are several reasons behind it:
  • The computer is a MacBook Air, and Zephyrus is one of the four winds in Greek Mythology.

  • Zephyrus is the gentle and propitious West Wind, and I live in a city where the wind predominantly comes from the West (and is rarely gentle and often chilling, but oh well).

  • One of our upcoming Olympians plays is about Zephyrus. It falls on the weekend I'm producing, and I'm super excited about it: it's Brideshead Revisited crossed with Greek mythology!

  • It just so happens that I got this new computer in April, and as Chaucer teaches us, there is a link between April and Zephyrus:
Whan that Aprille with his shoures soote
The droghte of Marche hath perced to the roote
And bathed every veyne in swich licour
Of which vertu engendred is the flour
Whan Zephirus eek with his swete breeth
Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
The tendre croppes...

1 comment:

Dr.J said...

Arthur C. Clarke