Funny story. Merrow was originally my artist name when I was a musician. I mean, I'm still a musician, but I'm taking a much needed break.
Anyway, I didn't think my real name was a good stage name. I wanted something that represented me but had deeper meaning. Something different.
I feel deeply connected to my Irish ancestry, so I started researching Celtic folklore and words. I stumbled upon the story of sea faeries - merrow: mysterious and beautiful mermaids who could transform into humans whenever they wanted, simply by coming to shore and removing their red hat. Like in other stories of sirens, they were known for violent acts against sailors.
However, these merrow were also known to fall in love with these human men, and leave behind their life in the ocean to come to land. They would be married, make homes, make babies, and live their human lives. But it rarely lasted long.
Merrow would always feel their soul being called back to their true home and their true selves, and after a while many would allow themselves to accept this and try to return home. The husbands caught on to this and would hide their merrow's red hat to keep them from leaving them. The merrow would have to find it before she could escape back to where she came from. So that she could transform back into her true self.
And she would. Red cape in hand, she would kiss her babies goodbye, knowing that leaving would be hard but better for everyone, and she would run into the ocean, slipping back into her old familiar body and letting the current wrap around her and welcome her home.
I think it's important to never take folklore completely literally. I am definitely NOT saying that getting married and having a home is denying your true self. (I'm also not saying it's not, but stay with me here). The story is beautiful because although we are all tempted to live a life that, although may be beautiful, may not be quite right - and to be a person that may be wonderful, but is not who we truly are.... and although it may be difficult to find our freedom back to our true selves - that it is possible.
I believe that because of our disconnect from nature, we have suffocated our wildness.
I believe that because of the trauma of childhood, violence, and body shaming, we have disconnected from our bodies.
I believe it was this story that unlocked me.
Although I continued to pursue music, I found myself becoming more self-aware. I actually wanted to prioritize my physical and mental health.
It was terrifying and hard at first. I felt very alone in the process - artists were meant to be starving and tortured. But I couldn't be creative like that. I couldn't give my best like that.
I had been ignoring my health issues that were making me depressed, and anxious. I was losing hair. I was sick and tired constantly. I couldn't lose weight. I looked swollen and malnourished. I was putting steroids on my body constantly to manage my psoriasis. I couldn't do it anymore.
I started to break free from the culture. I spent more time in nature than inside. I researched the benefits of eating plants, and the true causes of illness. I prioritized myself. I traveled to Ireland and healed some old wounds. I started to make peace with my body. All this with the merrow's story as my compass. Part of that included needing to walk away from music for a while. Healing is taking so much of my energy and time, and that's okay. So for now, this is my creative outlet and my offering. I want to make sure other creatives can find the words and tools to heal and thrive.
Our body is our ocean. It is our home.
Our life is our wild. We must set it free.
We are all creators. It is our birthright to heal and be creative.
Here, we will do all of those things together. And so it is.