Fame, Bells and Shoulder Shrugs
I’ve published a lot of short pieces under my married name of Nola Passmore. So why am I using my Christian names of Nola Lorraine for my author site? One reason is to distinguish my creative writing from my other business activities, but it’s more than that. It’s all in the meaning of the names.
Depending on whether you’re looking up the Latin or Gaelic origins, Nola can mean ‘famous’, ‘fair-shouldered’ or ‘little bell’. I joked to my husband, Tim, that I was a famous fair-shouldered ding-a-ling. He didn’t think it was as funny as I did. Tim dug a little deeper and found that Nola could also mean ‘champion’. I like that better than ‘famous’. To me it gives the impression of someone leading others into battle, like a chariot driver at the head of the pack.
The Cross of Lorraine
Investigations of my middle name weren’t exactly earth-shattering. Lorraine simply means ‘someone from the province of Lorraine in France’. I suppose I should be grateful my middle name’s not Yackandandah, yet it didn’t thrill me either.
Then I thought about why my parents gave me that name. It turns out that The Cross of Lorraine was my Aunt Valma’s favourite film. Valma was only 22 years old when she passed away, so it seemed a fitting tribute to name me after something she loved.
The Cross of Lorraine has two crossbars, with the top one being shorter. It symbolises the sign nailed to Jesus’ cross that declared him to be the King of the Jews. The Cross of Lorraine was often carried into battle, and was used as a symbol of the French Resistance during World War II.
Courage and Hope
So here we have two images. ‘Nola’ as a champion leading others into battle, and ‘Lorraine’ as a symbol of resistance against the forces of evil. When I look at my name in those terms, I have a lot to live up to. I wouldn’t describe myself as a courageous person. I have enough trouble standing up to the odd cranky person, let alone leading anyone else into battle.
However, I found that we don’t have to enter those battles alone. God grants us courage when we need it, and the hope and promise of better things to come. As you peruse the posts, poems and stories on this website, I pray you will find hope in dark places and the courage to stand up for what you believe.
Have you ever researched the meaning of your name? I’d love to know what you’ve found.
Photo credits: Author photo by Wayne Logan at WRL Photography; Cross of Lorraine by Guillaume Bonzoms at Pixabay.