Burmese Mermaid

Burmese Mermaid

Friday, July 20, 2012

Mermaid Dreams

The Great Sirens, Paul DelVaux, 1947

Perhaps due to my recent wanderings in lush tropical waters, my dreams have been very lively, practically jumping out of the waters of my unconscious mind into full consciousness.  I appreciate my time in the tropical waters for this reason, as the Burmese Mermaid has much to learn from her dreams.  A long life span doesn't guarantee wisdom, and I haven't gained what wisdom I have from books and learning tools valued by humans.  No, I must have my dreams.  Without dreams, my feeling heart would starve and eventually die from lack of inspiration.  These periods of learning for me are precious.  Would you believe that it once happened that eighty years passed during which I could be seen procrastinating, swimming indecisively in the same oceans, back and forth, without purpose or poetry?  Something about tropical waters stimulates my unconscious mind and kindles my growth as a mermaid desirous of greater wisdom.  And now I must dive deep and nap.  With a little luck, I'll soon be dreaming colorful mermaid dreams!

Open Hearts

The poet and philosopher Rumi observed that you must keep breaking your heart in order for it to open.  It's an interesting way to look at suffering, don't you agree?  The poem in my previous post speaks of suffering in the same vein, alluding to suffering as a pathway or conduit leading ultimately to freedom from suffering.  I think the Buddhists, and philosophers of many stripes would agree with Rumi or, at the very least, appreciate the beautiful paradox.  "Freedom from suffering" I imagine as laying on a great, cosmic spectrum.  As the heart opens a little more with each crack, so too do we move toward greater understanding of our connection  to everyone and everything and the interconnectedness of all of it.  I will heed Rumi's words while immersed in the ocean blue, and not restrain, out of fear, my natural inclination to love, lest my heart get broken.  May I be brave, love deeply, and trust that healing will occur in proportion to any hurt that may arise. And now, if you will excuse me, I must continue my search for otherworldy treasures in the Aegean.  Oh, and last but not least, let's not romanticize suffering or elevate it to superstar status.  It's just that suffering is an undeniable part of our lives on this earth, so why not to utilize it for a lofty purpose?  The Burmese Mermaid is pragmatic.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

A Good Hurt

The Burmese mermaid knows that sometimes it feels good to hurt.  By exposing deeper wounds, we bring to light that which must emerge in order for healing to take place.

A poem by Michael Leunig:

When the heart
Is cut or cracked or broken
Do not clutch it
Let the wound lie open
Let the wind
From the good old sea blow in
To bathe the wound with salt
And let it sting.
Let a stray dog lick it
Let a bird lean in the hole and sing
A simple song like a tiny bell
And let it ring
Let it go.
Let it out.
Let it all unravel.
Let it be free and it can be
A path on which to travel.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Rock-a-bye Baby Mermaid

Throughout my life I have enjoyed a
memory of lying awake outdoors. The view above me is swaying gently, so I think it is probably a swinging cradle, not a stationary crib, that holds me. My eyes are wide open and curious. There is a sense of security and delight in
discovery as I watch the blue sky overhead.

It is a pleasantly warm, sunny afternoon, and I see green leaves
against the sky. They are not maple or
oak leaves, or any other species that grow in New England, but leaves of another type of tree that I never see in my life now. I am transfixed by the sight of the exotic leaves moving gently against a bright blue sky
tinged with gold. It is a tropical sky.
Once again I remember: the leaves were of a tree that I no longer see against the backdrop
of a sky I no longer know except in my heart.

Mixed up with other
memories, I remember falling from that hammock or, I should say,
falling with it to the ground. I remember the sound of something breaking and the sensation of falling and hitting the ground with full gravitational force. The air
was suddenly and completely knocked out of my lungs and my only reaction to that
sensation was a blink or two of pure shock. I felt no pain but it was hard to get my breath back.

My mother has corroborated that
once, the rope holding up my swinging cradle broke,
bringing me and cradle to the ground. According to her, the cradle wasn’t very high
off the ground, maybe just a few feet at most, but I remember the crash as if I
had fallen from a great height. I was
unharmed, but shaken.