Wednesday, June 15, 2011

On Mermaids, Real and Imagined

On Mermaids, Real and Imagined

If mermaids exist at all, they can't be happy all the time. There must be enough sadness under the sea to reach them. I think my sister might have been a mermaid in another life, there is something sea-green, wild and translucent about her when she is at the sea. She always seems, somehow, like she is about to walk right into the ocean, to slip beneath the waves and to disappear, of her own free will... not to drown, but to become something different entirely. There is a mermaidy look about her that I can't quite define. I wonder if this is how mermaids are made. Reminds me of Lorna Goodison and the "don't care girl" becoming a mermaid in From Harvey River.

Anyway, this one with the drowned eyes is reckless. She is tired of having to be lovely, to turn the corners of her mouth up, to sing to fishermen and divers in their deepest dreams. She plans to leave the Sea-kingdom of her birth to wander all the dark, light-less parts of the ocean, to lock eyes with blind things, to get lost for a time. She is done with brushing her long blue hair and penning songs about sunshine. She plots her course using fishbones and sea-stars. I, too am curious about her.


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