More on mermaids

I use mermaids on this blog all the time, as my symbol, as a model for us, cautionary or not. My motivation: I lived in a fantasy world, and looking up to women I might be, I could find only a few, but was sure of Buffy and Ariel. Those damn red-haired toys were all over the house, four in the bathtub alone. At 8, my daughter is "over" the Disney princesses, but Ariel still enchants.

Ok, at this point, it might be more me than her.

I used two of my daughter's drawings (from age 4 or so) on little badges to give away at Camp Widow this past summer: one is at least not pink, for the menfolks. "She's so full of joy, isn't she?", asked one woman when I gave her one. (I wasn't sure if she meant my daughter or the drawing.)

And she is. Mermaids are purest fantasy, not only elastic between worlds, but always moving, tantalizing, looking for something. They're determined and friendly.

I felt like I was swimming in a new world when I rediscovered parts of myself — big parts — after Gavin died. As I looked for meaning again, and tried to make daily life work, too. I'd forget myself in play with my little girl, and in the pretend world of online dating: which man should I pick? What could be more romantic, and what a way to be transformed. It was like trying on new lives, and new careers too (they always talked about work, I didn't like my job, and what an easy place for me to escape to) … It hardly mattered that in real life, they would have had to like me back. I had flowing tresses, a deep mind, knowledge of the other world, and desire.

I'm still swimming, in a way, though I'm remarried, have a new career, a new house. Maybe I'm not quite on solid ground yet. But at least I have a good brand.


cb said...

Hi there,

Just found your blog through Abigail's. I love your blog list, I think it must really be helpful, wish I had found it long ago, I am going to pass it along to my widow friends, especially the more newly widowed amongst us.
I love your idea about mermaids, I get it, of course. I guess when I was first widowed, I didn't feel as if I was in one world or the other, I felt like I was in NO world! Alot has changed for me over the years and I no longer feel that way but it takes time and a lot of work. A lot of work. Mermaids are so beautiful! There is a great irish movie about a mermaid, I wish I could remember the name of it, but try to find it, you might enjoy it, it came out a year or so ago.
NIce to meet you!

Anonymous said...

Are you thinking about The Secret of Roan Inish? Irish movie but about selkies, not exactly mermaids. But good movie nonetheless.

Supa Dupa Fresh said...

CB and anonymous, There are a LOT of great movies and books about the Selkies, which are as close as you can get to a mermaid, and emotionally: very much the same.... Yes, yes, yes!

Supa Dupa Fresh said...

Cie, I looked YOU up through Abby too but just caught your reference to the lessons blog... thank you.

Look forward to knowing you better!



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