January 1, 2015

Greet the New Year Like a Mermaid.


She is a mythical creature. A person of the ocean. A child of the waves.

 And sometimes, she is all of these things in a human body.

 Here’s how a mermaid (at heart) turns her face to a new year:

The new year is  seen as a defining opportunity for change and renewal, which indeed it is. Yet when one lives by the pull of the waves and the shapes of the moon, change and renewal are a way of life. They are constant as a beating heart. A mermaid lives in an ever-unfolding world of shifting sands and currents. Creatures that don shells, shed them and don new shells again.

Every day (and night) the ocean bursts forth in acts of renewal, retreats into its own mysteries, and then invents itself once again.

A mermaid will change and renew on the birth of the new year. But she will do so again the next day, and the day after that, and the day after that. As long as the water moves, so will she.

A mermaid lives with a fever to move, she can’t stay in one place for too long. And no wonder, for the endless ocean is her realm. She wanders by instinct, and can become violent-tempered when she feels caged. Wandering can mean down the shore or across the world, the idea is the same either way: she must keep moving. She is not a jittery, inattentive mover, and not a runaway escapist, either.

She is a slow, intentional wayfarer.

She will look upon the new year as a journey.

A mermaid lives a simple, nomadic life. She doesn’t accumulate many possessions, as this accumulation will only weigh her down, and she is used to floating. She dreams of what the new year will pay in dividends of knowledge, adventure and maybe even love.

Whatever material instruments come to her as she flows through these experiences, she will use them, feel gratitude for them, then let them flow away from her again, as time and season dictate.

A mermaid is a creature whose soul is tangled up with nature. She needs to taste salt water on her lips and feel the waves lift her hair from her shoulders. She will love every animal in the world and a handful of humans. She will want to watch the sun rise and set on the water, dazzling its surface with a million shards of light. These things in the new year, and always.

Her beauty is imperfect. She has been chiseled by water and wind and sun and earth. She has scars. She has freckles. She has flesh. She is marked by the passage of time and a life lived in the elements. If she travels through the next year without acquiring any new marks of age, she will feel a tug of regret; a longing for the scars that could have been.

She knows that just as a living soul must exist in a state of evolution, so must a living body, and she wants nothing more than to be alive.

Water is her prevailing trait. Silent and roaring, calm and powerful water. The sea is a vast and often solitary place. A mermaid knows how to be quiet and alone. In fact, she needs to be quiet and alone. This retreat doesn’t diminish her strength, or her ability to love. It causes both to build in a rising swell. As the new year dawns she will sit alone, at least for a moment, watching that sun ascend, and feeling that energy rise.

A mermaid is joyful, playful, dark and melancholy, but never complacent. She swings from the horizon into deep ocean trenches, and back again. She is compelled to follow these tidal shifts, up and down, true to herself and the moon. She would not wish for the new year to bring a happiness that is any less than that which is felt deep in the bones. And happiness felt in that deep place derives its shape from darkness. Darkness defining the light. Giving form to faith.

In other words, a mermaid is not afraid of seasons.

She understands that the new year will unfold in seasons, sometimes many seasons within a single day, and she won’t resist this. She will turn her face toward the rain and feel sadness. She will fall into your arms and feel love. She will surge into the future and feel fear, then courage. She won’t deny her heart, for she is too close to nature and its primeval pulse. This is why she will never get stuck.

She will live her seasons, they will pass, and she will flow on into the next.

All wild things are unpredictable by nature. A mermaid will dream and plan like the rest of the world, but she is an instinctual, gut-feeling decision maker, who will abandon practicality at the pull of the tides, trusting a wisdom that is at once intuitive and hard-won.

She recognizes logic, but is not ruled by it. The choreography of the human world means little to her, and she will rush in to fill every corner of the new year on her own terms, like water rushing over land.

Her heart is as old as the floor of the ocean, full of memory and hope layered together in a foundation of rock.

A mermaid who has lived through some life will come to know herself a little better, and begin to understand just what she is. Her seemingly primitive, ill-advised instincts will begin to make sense. At least to her. The wild upheaval of her life will pulse with possibility. Wave energy has been building silently under the sun and moon and stars. She sees that now.

As human clocks chime out the final fragments of the year, we will likely find our mermaid sitting on a rock, watching time circle around through the bodies of the sky. She will laugh, grateful for both the old year and the new, then back-flip into the sea.

 Jump with her.


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Author: Chrissy Tustison

Editor: Emily Bartran

Photo: Flickr

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