I’ve been crying that we’re “drowning in” work or stress or obligations. I wished I could “come up for air” once in a while. Often I wondered at our strangeness among others, the sense that we were completely different creatures in a bizarre world. If I push the metaphor, I could say we feel like mermaids peering over the California waves.
But I…like…really really like that: we’re fucking mermaids woohoo!
We ARE different creatures, exploring the strange delights under the sea. And while there lingers this deep, sad longing to be part of the other world, I have no intention to reduce ourselves through black magic to becoming the voiceless plaything, the frothy nothingness. Sorry Disney, but Ariel was kind of stupid.
So this week, I am channeling mermaids and swim, swim, swim along. And no seafoam mermaid gowns or pearls or days at the beach; this is a gentle inspiration week because it has been a while since I’ve done anything new for myself.
Sunday May 22: Pick up some mermaid coffee on my way to the market, buying fresh greens for a week of clean eating that includes wakame seaweed salad and tons of water.
Monday May 23: I have a goal to start going to the gym at 6am each weekday and think I’ll be exhausted. Mermaids tend to be depicted in most popular culture as vain, pretty temptresses (or doomed, sad-eyed romantics) so why not spend some time in the evening pampering myself? A seaweed mask and deep condition awaits.
Tuesday May 24: I think I like mermaids best though when their inherent strangeness is foreground. My favorite mermaid cultural touchstone might be Junichiro Tanizaki’s short story, “A Mermaid’s Lament” (Ninjyo no nageki or 人魚の嘆き) where the mermaid is a world traveling Scheherazade, imprisoned by a fantastical prince. This story brings up “bad” feelings for me, since I basically abandoned my dissertation when my son’s autism was diagnosed. I want to read it though, this time with no pressure involved. Let’s see if my perspective has changed.
Wednesday May 25: Wednesdays are the WORST. I don’t know why. They are always the hardest, hardest days. So today will be a nice, long, hot bath.
Thursday May 26: Ham, meat, and ramen like a little Ponyo.
Friday May 27: Friday at last. I want to take my son to the pet store and look at fish. That’s all.
Saturday May 28: Put my hair in a mermaid braid, slip on my new mint green shorts, and go eat some lobster burrito from the new Farmers Market in town. Then head on down to the art museum before our passes expire!