"I have had a tremor of bliss,
a wink of heaven, a whisper."
I remember, in dream, no, not dream, a memory...
I remember carrying her, shivering,
both of us wet with tears, gently placing her back in the water. Kissing her, holding her.
I take from around my neck my silver jigsaw piece,
and I place it in her hand.
"Forgive me." There is so much hurt, so much sadness
in her eyes. * We hold each other so, so tight.
A wave crashes around us, startling me. I let her go for a
moment. The water subsides. She is gone...
She is gone.
I awake with a start, in the thick of night.
I sense that I am no longer asleep,
that I am no longer in dream.
My ears are filled with the sounds of the storm;
Lightning fills the room, thunder rattles the walls!!
A terrible wind is crying, and rain and seawater lashes
at the cottage's fragile window pane.
I see waves breaking outside. The glass threatens to break. Another flash of lightning,
and I notice water rushing under my door, quickly
filling the room.
all my worldly possessions
(my books, my music, my clothes & suitcase collection)
are all floating in water...
Another flash of silver light. I can feel the thunder
move through my very soul. The water continues to rise,
all that I own swirls around my bed.
I feel a sense of panic rise in me...
Yet just as suddenly, I am filled with a sense of calm.
The water is seeping into my bed now, rising higher, ever higher. It is surrounding me...
I feel it, sense it in the darkness, as it
begins to wet my lower body, my stomach, my chest...
I feel it slowly move upwards, coating my shoulders, my neck.
In the cold and wet and dark, I no longer feel my legs.
Another flash of lightning,
and in the same instant the door crashes open!!
All at once now, bluegreen water is everywhere.
My head is underwater! I taste it in my mouth and nose.
Looking up through the glimmer, through the window
I glimpse a shimmer of silver reflected.
I reach upwards, and the glass pane gives,
showering the room in water & glass...
In fear, and (equally) a last gesture of defiance,
I throw back my blankets.
Water fills my eyes now, but I can see so, so clearly.
More clearly than I have ever seen in my life.
Looking down, where my legs once were,
I can see the tail of a fish!
I smile widely,
open my mouth
and take in water...
I breathe water.
Where once there was only skin, I can now feel
tiny gills all over my entire body,
opening and closing in the cool water...
I thrash my tail, launch myself from the bed,
swirl upwards, the water gliding off my body
makes me feel so alive.
I swim for the open door, my entire world is now
a world made of water. Books and suitcases bob about me.
I shake off forty four years of
earthly desires and cares...
Now I see!
I see what she was trying to show me!!
Why I felt so uncomfortable walking on the beach...
Who I really was all this time.
This is why she had made me feel so safe,
like I had found my way home...
I was the same as her!!!
I had been dreaming all this time. And in this dream,
I thought I was a man...
But I was not. How could I have been so foolish?
Now I finally see why I never felt comfortable with legs.
I thrash my tail again, leave the cabin behind me.
All about me is open sea.
I am going home...
But in the dark, swirling waters
I am unsure which way to swim...
In the darkness, I feel a familiar hand grab tightly
onto my own, gently guide me.
At that very moment, I feel her soul in my hand.
And at long, long last, I am going home!!
(c) Brent M Harpur, 2012.
- For E. x
* This fable was inspired by your incredible mermaid painting...