Monday, September 13, 2010

(a part of the story of the) MERMAID TINE

When I was seven, I was committed to compromise,
refusing to allow things to be only what they were,
a slave to metaphor.

No cloud was safe.
Anything I wanted to see
appeared above me in temporary galleries of icy sculpture.

I have some co-conspirators:
cloud-gate by Anish Kapoor in Millennium Park
where wei o-connell captured (for her cloud gate sculpture gallery
please visit it)
what I see, in this moment of seeing,
as a hatching of mermaid embryos in her image.
The embryos can also be(come) seeds of a need to impose such seeing, to grow such stories (high rises of stories, development after development, density and entanglement of of everything that can have a voice having its say, some of it through puppetry and ventriloquism and appropriation and hiccups)
without regard for possible benefit for humanity if telling alone lacks benefit,
proves nothing (assuming something in fact can be proved, proof that holds across
scale, across location, across durations of time)

Cloud Gate has a tine extension in Heathrow's Cloud by Troika:

A bit downtempo isn't it? Purpose or not, we're here, and we're made of our stories, our DNA telling a good one, full of recipe, prescription, destiny, opportunity for error, explanation, the joy of code, reduction to information, expansion to information, built-in script, and so forth. I'm trying to tell a story-tine about aspiration, always about aspiration, about becoming, a journey from one place to another, something even am amoeba can do, without requiring a way back, so as to keep nodding to how great it is to keep going, to church out whatever it is that inhabits the wake of movement, from gentle assistance to steamroller crush and pulverization into a fine power that travels the globe like all-purpose cosmetic.

Everything dressed up like mermaids.
Clouds of memories of mermaid parade.
Here is a forkergirl image of a cloud factory producing mermaid embryos:
When I was seven, I wrote Mermaid Sisters and with my cousin made paper dolls that had a change of a dozen different fish tails, mostly based on what could be caught, including what we could imagine could be caught, in Lake Erie. We tried to carve mermaids out of ivory soap, but neither of us were good at that, some really bad butchering (nothing at all like what's available from The Mermaid Soap Company). It didn't occur to us to buy some mermaid soap molds, but we did pour Bosco chocolate syrup into small china lifeboats (from my aunt's good china set so seldom used, she didn't miss the shallow oval dishes just right for a Barbie or Tressy rescue in shallow water) that we put in the oven to try to bake chocolate bars. We also didn't have access to, and at that time couldn't imagine access to something that couldn't exist then (though a possible path to it was in progress): the wonderful Liana's Paper Doll Blog.
(image at left from Liana's Paper Doll Blog)

When we floated the mermaid paper dolls we drew, appropriately putting our half-fish in water, bending them so that their torsos were above water so that they could breathe without oxygen tanks, the paper outfits came off; those tabs we folded to hang the fish skirts onto the mermaids weren't secure fasteners.
The fish skirts floated separately.
Paper fish skirts and paper mermaids became increasingly fragile in the water.
They drank the water.
They became heavier with water. Soaked. Saturated.

(image from animals in the
When we squeezed out the water, we held paper wads, the beginnings or aftermaths of paper wasp nests. It was as if we'd chewed and spit out deformed globes, very inexperienced makers of worlds yet the wads were habitable, could teem with microbes we didn't know anything about —and I had no excuse, having attended since kindergarten Louis Pasteur School, named for the then king of the war against germs harmful to humans, the source of the pasteurization process —pasteurized eggs among the safe eggs, the good eggs during the recent egg recall;
eggs that seem signed by Louis Pasteur himself. I do not know how Louis Pasteur felt about mermaids. Had he ever visualized his wife as a mermaid? Was there a mirror that gave her mermaid aspects of herself in exchange for reflection? I don't know how well mermaids may have engaged the imaginations or fever-sponsored realities of his children. I don't know what significance mermaids may have had for him or his children had typhoid not demanded their attention. I can speculate. I can give his children that succumbed to typhoid the gift of mermaid memory in the form of story I might make, some typhoid mermaid tines.

Writing this has given birth to the idea, has included typhoid mermaid tines into the multimedia story system, the limited forked consideration of mermaids that appeared to me in clouds over my head, sometimes taking on the weight of obligation, the fog of guilt for not acting on obligation.

Read Lois Pasteur's papers on Germ Theory
My search, at the moment, for mermaid in the Pasteur Galaxy did not produce any results, but try your own luck in the galaxy; try your own search. what cannot be found, cannot be pasteurized at this time, is not yet bug-free. At some point, a search for Pasteur and mermaid will lead here where the map is not yet reliable, where the meat of mermaid, typhoid, and Pasteur has not fully emerged, and in this gestation state is particularly susceptible to contamination, to mutation, perhaps on the order of trans-species work that may look more and more feasible, less and less ethical as it moves in a range of directions from trans-species organ transplantation. There is a place for this human/fish merger, even the reverse fish/human merge as in this work by Magritte: :; is not the only place where species meet, where species have met, producing ligers and tigons, for instance; it's just one place, one tine of a story that in the telling nd retellings might be able to connect, however briefly, with everything on some scale in some location. Meet me at Mermaid Alley and form a
(temporary) intersection.

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