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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Under the Surface

The other night I dreamt that I was a passenger on a thin sailboat — practically a sailboard. Despite living here in Valhalla (AKA  Sloop Central) I’ve never been on a sailboat of any kind. I’ve done a microscopic amount of kayaking and ridden the ferries from mainland to islands but that’s it.

Boats scare me. Being on one that is. Why? Dunno. I guess I feel a bit trapped. I don’t suffer from Thalassophobia, at least I don’t think I do. I just know that I really don’t want to be stuck in a place that I can’t leave if the need arises. You know — in case we hit an iceberg or some dullard wants to lecture me on the intricacies of golf.

One company I worked for would occasionally host a summer party cruise for us. A truly generous scheme but I couldn’t do it. I need to be able to retreat to home, Honey Pie and cats when the urge hits me.

In any case, there I was on this sail board/boat, cruising over murky green water, when I noticed that, just below the surface, swam a dozen whales and other leviathan-esque sea creatures.

Yeah, it was freakin’ huge but then I noticed that none of these bulky bruisers seemed the least bit interested in me. That and they were magnificently gorgeous. All I could do was gaze and goggle.

Because this is how my brain works, I woke and had to see if there are any sea goddesses. There’re gods a plenty — Poseidon, king of the sea who ruled the Theoi Halioil, Neptune and Okeanos. Where’re the babes? Apart from Poseidon’s mate Amphitrite we seem to be relegated to nymph status.

Naiad1 — John William Waterhouse
Sure, there’s the dangerous Sirens but, for the most part we’re just sweet, tiny bosomed Oceanids and Naiads.

Oh but wait! There’s the Inuit Sea Goddess, Sedna!

In every version of her story and there are a few, she’s cast into the sea for one offense or another — refusing to marry, eating all the food in her parent’s house, being an orphan. Her father or the vile empathy-free villagers (republicans, no doubt) take her out  in a boat, toss her overboard and cut off her fingers so that she can’t climb back in. Yeah, real sweethearts.
As she clings to the sides, he chops off her fingers and she sinks to the underworld, becoming the ruler of the monsters of the deep. Her huge fingers become the seals, walruses, and whales hunted by the Inuit.

From each of her finger joints different sea creatures were born. They became fish, seals, walruses, and whales.
But wait — now she’s a planet! OK — she’s a goddess and a planet. Not too shabby. How long before Disney sugar coats the myth and does the movie?

As for my dream's meaning — who knows? Maybe I should bull through my boat angst and go on a whale watch.