Burmese Mermaid

Burmese Mermaid

Monday, April 18, 2016

Judgment of the Moon and Stars

As I searched the inky sky while floating on my back in the waters off the Great Barrier Reef, it occurred to me how completely a mermaid's life direction is guided by the Moon and stars and our star, the Sun. We use the luminaries for navigation but over the course of millennia the heavenly spheres have taken root in our hearts and souls as divine symbols.

In my travels, I have met astrologer mermaids in every ocean, unified by a quest for creating meaning from light and darkness stretching backwards and forwards in infinity.

My mermaid friend Evangeline, who lives primarily off the coast of Martha's Vineyard, told me about a man she knew on the island, a lyricist and poet by the name of E.Y. "Yip" Harburg. Yip wrote the lyrics to all of the songs in The Wizard of Oz, Pennies from Heaven, Brother, Can You Spare a Dime, April in Paris, It's Only a Paper Moon, and many more...

“Words make you think. Music makes you feel. A song makes you feel a thought.”
 ~ E. Y. “Yip” Harburg
E.Y. Harburg
Yip was witty!  Here is an example of his style, referencing star gazers:

"A broken clock can tell the time
correctly twice a day.
Astrologers, like broken clocks,
are clairvoyant that way."

What joy would there be in life if we could not laugh at ourselves? Astrologers are not exempt!


Sunday, April 17, 2016

Are Mermen Real?

Stories of my male counterpart, the Merman, are well documented, and I can attest that Mermen are quite real. The Burmese Mermaid will always be scrupulously honest with you, dear human!  

Unlike me and my sister mermaids, mermen are notoriously ugly and repugnant creatures. Surprisingly, they are also known to be wise and, sometimes, healers of men.  

The merman's power is also destructive at times.  I once knew a merman who caused a catastrophic shift in the current along the ocean floor that sent ships and ocean creatures crashing in distant shores. 

And humans can be led astray by our singing voices, sometimes with fatal results. We mermaids and mermen can enchant and ensnare solely by the ethereal beauty of our voices. 

We are also fascinated by human affairs, a realm that we should leave alone. The world of humans is not our world, nor does it represent our will. We cannot, as such, truly comprehend human motivations. When we do become dangerously curious of you, our essential nature is compromised. We may even die!

       Jimi Hendrix: A Merman I Should Turn to Be

Rising Tides and Wishing Wells

While swimming together off the coast of Rangoon last winter, my Burmese mermaid sister Khin Thida spoke of Burma's decades of unrest, continuing human rights abuses, most recently of the Muslim Rohingya people, the confinement of political prisoners, and tentative hopes that democracy will take root where there has been no civil society for over half a century. Our tears for Burma flowed and became one with our Mother ocean.

Burmese women sit Asian style
squat, knees to chins,
sarongs crumpled around fair legs.
They exchange words on markets
and husbands and children.
They may walk to town in the hot noon sun.

The jungle steams behind their backs
Hissing and spotted,
alive with poison,
and among the banyans,venomous eyes
and crying elephants laboring in the dust.

Down by the Irrawaddy, fishing boats come.
At the train station, a boy from Dehra Dun
And in his eyes are English boarding schools and beggars
And snow capped Himalayas.

Village women pass with jasmine
woven through black hair.
The scent of frangipani lingers after them.

Soon the monsoons will come to wash
the dust from the dry earth.
At dusk, the women walk toward home
down Mandalay Road.

The jungle hisses in the night.
The train from Dehra Dun arrives with the boy
but his hair is gray now
and his eyes have seen more
than English boarding schools and beggars
and snow capped Himalayas.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Birth of a Mermaid

"I must be a mermaid, Rango. I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living."
~  Anais Nin

Teeny tiny mermaid I once was too, curled inside a scallop shell, rocked in the arms of our mother Ocean. Timeless ages passed, then one day the shell cracked opened - to light and sand and salty waves. In that moment, I was born!

A mermaid is born only when rescued by a loving human hand. Otherwise, she remains forgotten in the timeless ocean tides. Human touch releases us from our captive shell and we are born and come alive.