Literary writers use metaphors. It's not a secret. What the metaphor is, what it means, and how it was intended sometimes is. More often than not it is explained by either the story (if it's a good metaphor) or intense overanalyzation. My good friend from Cincinnati calls it mental fornication. Sometimes the metaphor is the basis for the story. Sometimes the story was started and the metaphor added in a fit of epiphany or as the Muse directs if you prefer. Sometimes the metaphor as intended becomes more, more appropriate, more than desired. And sometimes it shows you what you didn't want to admit.
There were issues boiling in and around my family's church attendance, desire, and committment. It was boiling over when my wife informed me that we would prove my dad wrong and make our youngest a middle child. Nothing says someone neglected to disconnect the plumbing like a 12 year gap between kids.
Names have always been a big part of our 3 kids. Obviously, anyone who loves words and worries about words (including mental fornication about which to use) would take great care to choose words wisely. Children names were no exception. Our first child was named after her maternal grandmother. For a middle name (the one I could choose) I selected her mother's middle name before she changed her middle name to her maiden name. It was 6 years before the one-time opportunity appeared. The primary was to honor my wife, but when my daughter announced that she was Uh Byrd (chosing the alternate pronunciation of A) it was all worth it.
My second child was 27 hours old before we settled on a name. The name I selected ended up being first because it sounded better that way, but we call her by her middle name. I chose my paternal grandmother's name and she has inherited Mama Byrd's musical ability (see also any post here by The Frequently).
Little Doodlebug was another matter. I pushed hard for Scarlet Grace, that is a powerful name indicative of so much. In fact, I added a major role in my work in progress for Scarlet Grace to play. It is so critical I have no idea how I was writing it without her, but I digress. Faith was selected for my youngest because I realized that my family was having a faith issue and hoped that subconsciously all of our faith would grow as all of ours Faith grew.
She is, it is, and the metaphor became deeper then I first imagined. Every time we brought Faith to the nursery she got some illness or sickness. None of them were bad, but our Faith was being affected by going where we were. It is harsh to say, but our faith was being affected by going where we were.
After posting my recent, somewhat vague post about Jello I passed along to one person the symbolism of the post. Neither of my other readers commented to me to explain that they caught what I meant. That is the problem of literary writing, some may get all, all may get some, some will get none, none will get some. I don't apologize because I have to write. Just because we don't fit doesn't mean others won't or that the Jello is tainted. I loved our church, I love many of the folks in it, but it was time for the Byrd Pineapple to become dislodged.