Being Melody Rose is a wild ride. My creativity for example, is like a playful little child. Sometimes, when I wake up, like today, an image or song or writing idea has been downloaded into my mind and it pervades every thought and desire. I can’t get on with my day until I have found the nearest paper and pencil, device or piano. 90% of my songs have been spontaneously downloaded in this way. When I try to coax my creativity, however, to perform at a convenient time she is hidden in a dark corner. The more I try to urge her out the more stubbornly she remains hidden.
You can’t force a rose to bloom. All you can do is feed it and appreciate it.
Other times, I am consumed with compassion toward or anger against some cause. It is like fire in my belly. Dear Forest has gotten used to gently listening as my voice rises and I climb on to my soap box to proclaim worldly injustice or describe a colourful, wild, violent dream that came during the night. I then collapse exhausted into his arms. With my head against his chest I listen to the calm, steady heartbeat of a man who loves me as I am.
Sometimes I think that all of my education in teaching children has been to prepare me for myself. There is still a rambunctious, whimsical little girl inside my 31 year old body. I used to be ashamed of her and try to shut her out with “adult responsibilities”. I would cover my face and apologize when her tears came, I would hide in the corner when the passion rose.
My childhood voice teacher constantly reminds me of the day when at seven years old I asked with tears, “why did my parents call me Melody?!” People always mispronounced it or misspelled it or sang me a line of “in my heart there rings a Melody….” It was weird. Kids calling me “smelly melly” didn’t help either.
When I found out that my dad had thought of naming me Tamara I begged my mom to let me change my name. My sister had written a story about a girl named Tamara with a cat called Max. Tamara was cool. Tamara fit in.
But then something changed. When I moved to Comox, people met me for the first time and thought I was cool. I started leading singing at church and playing piano and drum and praying at the beach and I discovered that Melody Rose is pretty special.
I share my mom’s passion for name meanings. When I meet someone I will often ask what their name means. My neighbour Naomi’s name means pleasant and she is pleasant indeed. April Elaine, my mom, means spring light and that is who she is. Gentle, and very passionate. When I was living with them and brooding under a cloud of darkness, Mom brought gentle light that comforted my heart and terrified the forces of evil around me.
My sisters are Princess (Sarah) Joy and Princess Gracious. They are truly royalty. My brother Daniel’s name means God is my judge… And no one else! It is a good reminder to me when I feel inclined to judge others.
My aunt’s first name is Gaye, which means happy and joyful. She changed it though when her Kindergarten students made fun of her. My dad’s name Michael Angus means “one who is like God” and “strong, exceptional choice”. Whew! That’s a name to live up to! And he does, the best he can. He is exceptionally loving, generous and wise. And hey, who else gets on Global tv for simply moving to the city?
Whether it is your name or a character quality or some random quirk about yourself, my challenge to you is to find the beauty in it and give thanks for being you. On the wall of my parent’s new apartment building is the increasingly popular quote, “Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.”
“I will praise thee, for I am fearfully, wonderfully made. Marvellous are thy works; and [that] my soul knoweth right well.”