Shiloh Sophia recently shared her Little Mermaid Mythos journey on her facebook page. It is interesting to hear her … involvement with the story. It made me stop and think…a lot…and I thought if I am thinking and embroiled in this process myself, I ought to write about it–so here I am.
My favorite fairy tale has never been the Little Mermaid. I love mermaids, but this was never my tale. When I was a child, my favorite fairy tale was Beauty And the Beast…and to this day, it remains one of my favorites.
Why? Beauty volunteers to go in her Father’s stead to the castle of the Beast to pay for her Father’s sins. She does not set out to change the Beast, only to interact with him as best she can. The fact that the Beast turned into a Handsome Prince at the end was pretty moot to me, even as a child. Looks are always deceiving. Those who are ugly and outcast have always appealed to me more, because usually these are the people that deep down have good hearts. At least, this is what I believe.
Of course, when looking at the myth, more often than not, I feel that I am more the Beast, waiting for someone to ignore the harsh exterior and listen to what lies inside.
For me, other than the sacrifice for family, which I would gladly make if asked, is about trust. The core of the story about trusting yourself in the face of uncertain circumstances and eventually trusting the person you are with, without trying to change him.
Of course, somehow, I learned when I was young to be more of the Little Mermaid than necessary–to change myself in order to be loved–and that always fails. I guess in my eyes my only saving grace is that when it comes to my family, I will do anything to protect them–I won’t leave them. I guess that is where the power to change myself and my path ultimately comes from.
Now, there is another fairy tale … one that I did not hear in childhood, one that embodies me more than the mermaid tale, because for me…there is always a link to mermaids…just not The Little Mermaid…the tale of the Selkies. Shedding ones skin to swim with your sisters…and your skin is stolen. Now you are trapped and must make the best of things…until your skin is returned to you. And…though you return to the sea, you never truly abandon your children. That is a story that I can say, yes, that embodies me, more than the Little Mermaid ever could.
As an adult, however, a new tale has come into my view…and into my psyche…Alice In Wonderland. A girl falls into another world, where she does not change herself, although she tries to be as polite as possible, and goes about her business trying to find the way home, while getting caught up in everyone else’s drama. She does not discount what she finds–talking flowers and animals, strange creatures, growing taller and then smaller. She accepts everyone and everything at face value. She doesn’t try to change anyone. Especially not herself. Although she does her best to make sure she is presentable and polite, both by the rules she knows and understands, and those that are put to her in this place.
Therein is where I lie–somewhere between seeking my own skin, waiting for its return, while doing the best I can with the circumstances around me…while accepting everyone and everything at face value, without trying to change anyone else or myself, while being as calm and as polite as I can…
This is a ripe subject. I am only beginning to explore things here. I am only now learning to rewrite my own stories, instead of allowing others to tell tales and expect me to live them their way.
Until next time…