Found at Sea (audio)

“Found at Sea” ~ Short Story (audio)
I swam to the edge of comfortable, then I paddled some more. Why am I doing this? What is pulling me forward? I see the shore, that is where I should be – with my feet firmly planted on settling ground, supporting my sensibilities. I ponder my situation when a wave envelopes, tumbles, and spins. Disturb my thoughts, it does, but into me, it does not knock any sense. In the rising waves, I remain, not yet ready to stand again. Jetting from the water, I see an outstretched hand. Not thinking. I clasp. I hold. A woman, water-soaked, begins to pull me down into the murky brown. I look into her eyes as we descend, and notice the sparkling surface becomes colorless and mute, as her eyes are transformed into a brilliant blue. Not breathing. I panic. I yank. There is no escape. I give in. I am fully submerged. Waves and legs thrash while calmness begins to settle within.

Her soft hand a steel trap. Propelled by her fish tail, quick and strong, I am led along, perhaps astray. We travel to the depths. Nothing about this makes sense. We pass shiny creatures, scaly creatures, creatures with tentacles, creatures with hard shells and protruding legs, creatures with bulging eyes, other creatures with no eyes at all, glow-in-the-dark creatures, creatures that see us and dart away, and curious creatures who, by our sides, want to stay. We pass waterlogged and nibbled-on debris. Human creatures are to blame for this. A catalogue of creatures we do pass before she takes her first rest, but not her first breath.

My eyes magically adjust to the sunless deep, I see what lies far beneath. Beneath the day that began like any other day on a tourist-packed beach. I see fractured pillars and cracked statues. I see what once was pride now covered in green slime, from its head to its missing backside. I see a giant-sized toppled head on the ocean floor, reminding me of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight – a Middle English poem I love to teach. I see steps as far as I can see, that seem to lead to nowhere, as far as I can tell.

Why did she bring me here? What does she want me to know? With these thoughts, not spoken, but received, she pulled me toward a wishing well. We stood, hand-in-hand, next to a fountain that flowed with fresh water in the deep of the sea. How can this be? She brushed her hand across the crystal blue. We watched the ripples undulate then subside. Dozens of coins appeared before my eyes, in every size. I understood that each coin had once belonged to me. One by one, each coin floated out of the fountain, then turned into a bubble that popped before my eyes. Each pop transformed into a wishing memory. A young girl tossing a coin over her shoulder in the middle of a city park. A woman tossing a coin into a flower-surrounded fountain at a Santa Fe hotel, just a few weeks ago. Pop! Pop! Pop! Tossed wishes bursting in front of me. My mind was drowning in wishes – some realized and others yet to be. What does this mean? With that question she prompted me to look closely into the crystal blue, still rippling from escaped dreams. A wave of her hand brought stillness and peace. Ripples transformed into a familiar face. My green eyes became her eyes of blue and in that moment, I knew. The wishes I make are mine to create. The real magic lives within ourselves, not in a wishing well.
…………………..
She returned me to the shore where she once found me, a lifetime ago. Not much had changed since she pulled me away. Except me, of course.
🌊 🧜🏼‍♀️

It sure was hard to leave the beautiful beach and head back to the scorching heat. Writing about swimming in the ocean is not the same as swimming in the ocean, but it does help! Especially when I can embellish with a mermaid, a lost city, and an underwater wishing well. ✨ Thank you for visiting, reading, and listening. Be well. 💗 Michele

“I must be a mermaid… I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living.”

~ Anais Nin

Photos 1 & 2: Hilton Head Island (my images) Photo 3: my wall-hanging mermaid 🧜🏼‍♀️

© 2021 Michele Lee Sefton.

95 thoughts on “Found at Sea (audio)

  1. A fabulous tale from the sea, we see it’s our own reality, a vision of our respective futures, the magic of which emanates from within our dreams, as we act to transform what is to be. A wonderful lesson for which I appreciate you sharing, Michele ~ and, please also thank your mermaid friend 😉🧜🏼‍♀️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Phil. I appreciate your takeaway from my story. A lesson that appeared with the unfolding of my fantastical story. ✨ I so wish I could dive into the Atlantic and thank my mermaid friend and spend more time exploring the deep. In my dreams! 🌟 I will carry this lesson with me and I will also keep tossing coins into wishing wells. Can’t hurt, right? 😁

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I have a few coins, as well 😉 I hope that all your dreams come true & I appreciate your wonderful writings, Michele. Wishing for you a splendid weekend, my friend 🙏🌞

        Liked by 1 person

      2. https://tamarakulish.com/

        I love how writing will reveal lessons to is that may otherwise go without being discovered! Swimming down into the depths of the ocean, our eyes adjusting to the lack of light as we go, puzzling at the mysteries ewe see, only to discover a great inner truth! I love this kind of story! 😎😊

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Tamara-your words about writing and my story speak directly to my heart (and my brain). Thank you. 🙏🏼 It is enjoyable to write this kind of story, learning as I go, as the words flow. This piece does have a few different meanings beneath the surface (haha), which you have eloquently expressed. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful story of transformation. The sea inspires so many to write about its gifts. One of my favourite is Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh. I have found so much wisdom in that little book through each phase of my life. Thanks Michele Lee!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am pleased that you enjoyed my sea story and I love your description of my magical adventure had in the mysterious deep. I am not familiar with that book – thank you for the recommendation, I will be sure to look into it. Thank you! 🌞

      Like

    1. Thank you, Brad. I am glad you found my story fun and engaging. I was ready to miss my flight and become a beach bum! 😆 How wonderful that you had easy beach access as a child. Sounds delightful! Where did you grow up, if you don’t mind me asking.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. How nice, Brad. You could probably write a book about your beach memories. 😄 The closest beach to where I grew up is Puerto Penasco, Mexico. As a teenager, I piled into one car with other teenagers, on more than one occasion, and spent time on the beach. Hard to imagine we did that! Southern Cal beaches offered the next closest escape. 🌞

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I enjoyed going on this mythical underwater adventure. Thank you for joining me, VJ. I am writing my way to empowerment… one post at a time. 😄 Your work is empowering to me – I am pleased to reciprocate. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Awesome! Love to learn that my story dragged you down. haha Truly, I am delighted that you were with me, gasping for air. And more importantly, that we made it back to the surface – not worse for the wear, but maybe a bit wiser. ✨

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    1. Fantastic! Maybe you will write about your dream? 😉 I would love that! I had crazy weird dreams last night, but that is another story. 😆 The Tales of King Arthur are among my favorites. 👑 💖 Wonderful to be in your company. Thank you, Ingrid.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is sheer brilliance, Michele.

    One by one, each coin floated out of the fountain, then turned into a bubble that popped before my eyes. Each pop transformed into a wishing memory.

    You make my brain explode.


    David

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Fantastically beautiful, Michele. It was wonderful to hear you speak your short story. I loved the mystery and the elegance in the language you created to describe the mermaid. What a lovely visually stunning journey. Loved it, loved it. ❤❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Jeff. 😁 I had not done an audio poem in several weeks. Time flies! I do enjoy story time. 😆 I might not have gone willingly with Miss Mermaid, but I did enjoy visualizing and describing my fantastical deep sea adventure. I am glad you enjoyed it too! 🌊🥰

      Liked by 1 person

  5. What an adventure Michele, so magical, so intimate. 🤗 Yes, my dear, this is your opus of an infinite musical 🎶 composition: “The wishes I make are mine to create. The real magic lives within ourselves, not in a wishing well.” 💦⛲⛵ Beautiful, and your voice is so soothing! 🧜🏼‍♀️🙏🏼

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Ahhh or aha or hahaha 😁 Reflection and introspection are definitely part of my nature, especially when I am looking into a reflective wishing well. 😉 Thank you so much Kym, I hope you are enjoying your summer Sunday! 🌞

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You’ve made my day Michele! 🤣👏🏼😂 I think my personal reflections are ahhhh, hahahaha! 🤭 THEN…I may move to the “AHAAAAAAA” moment. I suppose I am on the same page as you ladybug! 🤗🌹😁 I may not ever know which end of “ahhhh” I will be on!!! LOL 😜

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for calling attention to the first line. 💗 This piece was inspired by swimming in the ocean, but it is about so much more than that, which you have succinctly described. ✨ Enjoy your Sunday. Hope you are getting some great summer shots!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. That was a fabulous, fantastic, profound and what else would describe the beauty of words in this lovely tale. It was so lively through out the read my dwar Michele.

    This brought me out if thd deep involvement: She returned me to the shore where she once found me, a lifetime ago. Not much had changed since she pulled me away. Except me, of course 😇❤

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Django was referenced in a novel I finished not too long ago. Cool! 🎸 I will search for that version too. LA Story is a classic… great cast and I love the ordering coffee scene that I was reminded of not too long ago. 😁

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hilarious! 😂 🍋
        Back to Django – a musician character bought a Selmer… “made of laminated rosewood w/a walnut neck and an ebony fingerboard.” Are you familiar? Such a good book!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Easier to find and purchase a Selmer in the land of fiction. 😆 As long as your guitar brings you joy, that is all that matters. My clarinet brings me joy and tired lips. haha The sea, lemon twists, laughing, listening to music, making music… things that make life more enjoyable. 💓

        Liked by 1 person

  7. This felt like a beautiful dream to read and be in. So wonderfully you brought out the magic – indeed it is created within. I love how you concluded – Not much had changed since she pulled me away. Except me, of course – so deeply beautiful 💛✨

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I did get swept away in a dream-like submerged state while writing this one. haha I enjoyed reading your reaction to my story and delighted that my piece offered a dream escape for you. I WISH I had traveled to the depths with a magical mermaid, but writing the story did offer some insight, so I will gladly accept that gift. Thank you, Pragalbha. It is always a treat to read your thoughtful feedback. 💖

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind thoughts. 😊 So difficult to turn my back on the sea and sand! 😞 I will return to some beach somewhere… not soon enough. 😆 I won’t ever adjust to the heat, but I know how to turn on my A/C in my house and car. haha Record temps in the Pacific NW. Terrible! Stay cool wherever you are.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow, this story was absolutely beautiful – it transported me to another realm. An underwater one full of splendour and wonder. The imagery in this piece was magical and really helped to bring me closer to the heart of the story. And the end message? Amazing. I loved how it was all about how magic lies within us – not in wishing. I’m a little jealous, I wanted to get dragged under the waves by a mystical mermaid now XD! ❤

    Like

    1. Your comment is absolutely beautiful. Thank YOU! I never know where a poem or prose will take me when I am beginning – I too loved the conclusion of this one and the imaginary mermaid journey. 🥰 Once I settled down after her steel grip. 😆 That is a metaphor for my life, I suppose. I often fight/resist change or new experiences and then after-the-fact I am always glad for them. We can wish for such an adventure, but it will probably only happen in our dreams. ✨ Thank you for the visit and comment. 🌞

      Liked by 1 person

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    1. Such a thoughtful comment. Thank you, Terveen. 🙏🏼 That poem unfolded in surprising ways, leading me into the deep and revealing a magical wishing well. A fun discovery! Thank you for joining me and sharing your thoughts. ✨ “wishing wells deep within” 🥰

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Perfect timing! I just shared the first few lines of this fantastical tale, along with a photo taken near the Atlantic, on my IG page. 🧜🏼‍♀️ This story definitely carried me away, or under. haha I was surprised by the ending, and uplifted. ✨ Listen away! 😁💗
      Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Pingback: Her Cottage by the Sea (continued) – My Inspired Life

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