And We Shall Call Our Little Buddha… Francis Raven

raven by David James Wood.

(via Flickr ~ davidwoodfx)

It would be another three months before we officially become parents, but my wife and I already picked a name for our little buddha. It didn’t take us long to come up with a name. We did it over Thanksgiving weekend. We wanted to give our baby boy a cool-sounding, relatively unique, and meaningful name. We picked “Francis Raven.” Here’s why…

After going through hundreds of baby names online my wife liked the name “Francis.” It has good meaning and it goes well with our last name. But for some reason I’m attracted to the name “Raven” (maybe because I had a weird dream about them). To me it sounds cool, masculine, mysterious and mystical. But after doing further research, although Raven can be used for both sexes, I found out that it’s more popular as a girl’s name here in the U.S. So I asked my wife, “What if we used Raven as a middle name instead?”  She liked the idea. But what really sold me is the serendipitous and complimentary meaning of the two names.

Francis in Latin is “Frenchman; or free man.” Some famous people: St. Francis, Francis Bacon. Raven is “a large black bird in the crow family” with a high level of intelligence.  Also, the raven holds a special role in mythologies. In Norse mythology there are two ravens that sit on the shoulders of the god Odin. Their names are thought and memory. In Native American mythology the raven is depicted as “Creator of the world.”  So while Francis is a famous Catholic name (i.e. St. Francis is patron saint of animals), Raven, on the other hand, is an enigmatic Pagan symbol (i.e. symbolizes protection, initiation and healing, change in consciousness, wisdom, messages from spirit). I like the tension 🙂

Finally, when put together, Francis Raven can literally mean “free as a black bird”, or symbolically mean as, “free to think and remember”, “free from thought and memory”, and “free to create.” Very cool. We like it.

After we’ve decided on a name I went ahead and secured his online presence. Good thing FrancisRaven.com and FrancisRaven.me were still available. Not anymore 😉  I also set up his Gmail, YouTube, and Twitter accounts. Then we announced our baby boy’s name to family, relatives, and close friends using his Facebook account, by friending all of them.

My wife was shaking her head while I was doing all the online set up. She probably thought I was crazy, but for someone like me who has an online persona, and who had been living and breathing online in the past six years, it’s just a natural thing to do. I think our son will thank me for this someday, assuming that social networks are still around by the time he’s old enough to use (or wear) a computer.

So dear Francis Raven, now you know why your Mom and I picked your name. By the time you read this we’ve already taught you well enough how to be playful and responsible, online and offline. I hope you don’t get embarrassed by your dad’s online presence. Always remember that your Mom and I care for you with all our hearts, with all our minds, with Love from a timeless and boundless space…. Now go forth and kick some ass.

~Your Dad, Teacher, and Dharma Buddy.

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