October 22, 2014 by petrujviljoen
It was like this you see. An old, old man lived by the sea where he had lived all his life. Can you see him? No? Not yet? Maybe you will. Well he was. What I suppose you would call an octogenarian. Even in human terms that is quite old. Well, he was at the end of his life. One could say that, yes.
I can imagine a story without a woman in it? But this one would be Incomplete. The story would be: there was an old, old woman who lived by the sea, all her life, well she was. Not quite all her life by the sea, but of the sea, lived in the brine. From the sea she was. Before. You know about before and after? You do? Wishes will become yet. Yes, you’ll see.
What? A selkie. Of course. What? A seal woman. Can you see her? No? Maybe you will. We will, I should say. Maybe. She could dance, she and her sisters all round the rim of the sea, you’ll see if they didn’t, don’t I mean. Well, we will yet. They did that often. Left their skins, they could. So to dance and see the sea differently. She was seen. She was late. They called, she danced. Forgot herself. No blame in that. It got late. Too late!
Violet vapour rose from the black crystals. She cooked and cooked the kelp but it was no use. Seaweed will never be sealskin. She thought, well, she was. Unknowing, human man was desperate, needed. They had a child.
He tried to reform her. Bent her to his own making. It was no use. Nostrums and remedies and remonstrations and goading and even, yes, loving. Kind of. Eventually. It was no use. It was mean to keep her skin. She couldn’t go. He meant, well. He meant to. It was meant as fiduciary.
The child, odd. He’d be between worlds. All his long life long. He’ll grow old. He’ll never marry. Living between, loving, caring both, he meant. Found his mother’s skin, lost his mother. Well. How odd. Sometimes he saw her. Creative he became. Drew her. Drew him. Dancing, round the rim of the sea he could see an idea. Formed. Made a zoetrope. Telling in the spinning of the wheel. For all to see. Eventually.
Linked to lq week
Reasoning: few people like to take a dictionary to bed to read. I’m one that does. The greatest fun to page through and find words one has never known before. I’ve never before tried to make something of it until Bjorn Rudberg introduced the weekly lq wordle word game. They play on Twitter (sorry, no link, don’t do Twitter), during the week and on Sundays (I think) the list of words are published for people to try and make something of it. Words, language, can be made to do anything. Can be bent to one’s will, journey, whim, whatever. It’s fun. It’s hard work, but fun nonetheless.