Thursday, April 02, 2009

Fables from a Forgotten Place: Minerva & The Sea

A Sounding of Surf ~ © Eyvind Earle Publishing LLC

To the west of Somewhere there is a beached cove of fine yellow sand where strong blue waves break bright white upon the shore.
The path that leads from Somewhere to the beach is narrow, precipitous and littered with sharp rocky outcrops that threaten to scratch the unwary traveller. For this reason the beach is usually deserted.
For those prepared to take the risk, the path is not without reward: small, brightly coloured plants cling to the rocks; salamanders bask on the sharp outcrops and dragonflies patrol the salt-scented air.
The beach itself is hemmed in by beautiful ferrous red-orange cliffs, eroded by the almost constant wind into the faces of giants – sentinels of rust that gaze out at the pale horizon.

Minerva ventured the path daily, wrapped in a red kimono she would remove her shoes at the end of the path and stand on the beach. The wind would blow her dark hair into extended curlicue, and she would watch the majestic swells heave themselves onto the shore.
Minerva grew to love these waves; they rose and fell with her breathing; she felt they knew her deepest feelings, feelings that did not require words to give them meaning, feelings that had no meaning beyond the experience of living; it was here that she felt most alive.

The citizens of Somewhere would return her waved greeting as she passed them by on her way to the beach, then at her back they would whisper:
“Crazy lady of the sea”
“Whacky Wave Watcher dot com”
“Do you know that she doesn’t own a TV?” (The citizens of Somewhere were avid watchers of television, and held a special obsession for programs about nature and the natural world)
Minerva didn’t care what people thought (or said behind her back) since, while she enjoyed the company of people, she was most happy with her own thoughts; her own company – and besides, she felt that the waves were her true friends; it was they who filled her days (and often her nights) with all the anticipation she needed from life.

The whispering (and nature-loving) citizens of Somewhere were unaware of just how deep Minerva’s feelings went: for she had given the waves names.

Of course Minerva had only discovered what the giant faces had long since observed from their elevated positions on the cliff: the waves that enter the cove do so in a set pattern of complex rhythm endlessly repeated with only small variations in frequency and amplitude.
The first wave, (by Minerva’s observation) she named Hedra. It comes in small, feminine and fast, all foam and spray on the wind.
Hedra’s hasty retreat causes Chao, the second wave, to curl over into a roaring tube that, collapsing, stirs up the sand into yellow clouds.
After a short pause Morphia will slide up the beach, losing no energy to spray, but whispering through his foamy launch.
The Gemini twins follow in quick succession, lean and neat they hit the beach in a double drum beat to be followed by long cymbal hisses.
Last in the set comes Perseus, Minerva’s favourite. Slow moving when he enters the cove; a sine of contained power, his approach causes the waterline to recede until, with a small head of foam he skis down his own leading slope to slide sighing up the yellow sand, rattling pebbles and chasing crabs before his swooping rush.

Minerva spent hours standing while the waves took their turns at her ankles, standing still for so long that she became visible to the rust giants who, in the time frame of erosion, live a slower (but longer) life than all of fleeting humanity.
“Better a heart of stone” is their wind-echo refrain lost in the sound of the surf.

It is common for those lost (or found) in the land of giants to find themselves drawn to grand gestures – a sort of necessary freedom from the world of small things, small ideas and small minds – a requirement for the attention of the giants - and what gesture can be grander than one made for love?
Minerva stood for love like the pillar of a dial that stands still for the sun to turn about - spending time; like a star that crosses the desert sky visible for only one wish; like the sea that calls to the lone figure on its shore.

And just when she knew who it was she had come to be; her warm body, her flesh and her hair with no watchers but the giants and the sea; she removed her red kimono in the yellow of the sunset, threw it up for the wind to consume, and as the giants looked on, unconcerned, she lay down on the wet sand exposed by the receding water to await Perseus’ embrace.


Yodood said...

If Minerva had been a surfer she might have named nine waves. I guess it appears different when you are riding them. Beautiful fable.

Pisces Iscariot said...

Dood: perhaps I should have done a bit of research on that first - I have just read that the largest wave will be in the middle of the set with the smallest first and last [ho hum] :)

Candie Bracci said...

The best story I ever read.
It speaks to me you know the sea and the rest...

Hope you're not going to answer me something like it's just a tale ect..with sarcasms it would be like saying that Santa's don't exists to a little girl.I stay with that beautiful picture in my head now on my way to bed and nothing else matters.
Good night

Pisces Iscariot said...

Candie: I am happy that you like my story - In future I will try not to shatter too many illusions :)

Candie Bracci said...