This brief explanation of my pseudonym, dating from March 2012, first appeared on the storytelling site Cowbird, where I discovered many wonderful personal stories and even shared some of my own. The title is taken from Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot (which goes to show that even the most serious poet has a fun side).
Marina Sofia is not the name I was born with. It was the name I wanted to give to my daughter. ‘Marina’ I associated with the sea, with boats, with feeling the wind in your hair and daring to sail forth and explore. I wanted my daughter to be a fearless pirate. ‘Sofia’ of course is wisdom. I wanted my daughter to be curious, informed, fair, learning from people and from experience.
So I waited.
And then I had a son. So I kept the name for my second child. And then he was a son too. So I learnt to love boys. I put the name up on a high shelf, out of sight.
But then, a few weeks ago, a wonderful thing happened. After many years of silence, a creative person inside of me started to break out. She was me and yet not me, she needed a different name. So I took a stepladder, picked up the name from the shelf, dusted it with one swift puff of breath.
And now it is so my own, I cannot imagine being without it anymore.