Ocean

  • A Fit of Artistic Enthusiasm

    Inspired by Gris Grimly’s illustrations for the Oblong Box.

    Electric jolts of mania: a salt-crusted coffin bobbing through tumultuous ocean

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  • Thalassa, The Galapagos Mermaid

    A massive glass tank is positioned on the stage, decorated with a rough canvas painting of sand and sea. Within the tank, you see a swirl of ivory, coral, and russet. After a few rushed passes, the furiously moving creature slows and makes her way towards the glass. As she approaches, you see that her features are lovely and delicate, and though her pearl-adorned torso is that of a beautiful, slender woman, her bewitching face is crowned by lethal spikes and instead of legs she has a writhing serpentine tail. Upon spotting you, her dorsal spikes flare, and she sneers maliciously. She slaps the face of the tank with her powerful tail, and you hear a crack and groan as the glass fractures under the strain.

    Seaweed, kelp, salty ocean spray, bitter almond, night-blooming jasmine, frankincense, and benzoin.

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  • The Sea Foams Blood

    When you return go alone, just you and the children and when you approach the beach then call for me:

    Zilvine, Zilvineli,
    If alive, may the sea foam milk
    If dead, may the sea foam blood…

    And if you see coming towards you foaming milk then know that I am still alive, but if blood comes then I have reached my end. While you, my children, let not the secret out, do not let anyone know how to call for me.

    Blood rising through an ocean wave.

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  • The Sea Foams Milk

    When you return go alone, just you and the children and when you approach the beach then call for me:

    Zilvine, Zilvineli,
    If alive, may the sea foam milk
    If dead, may the sea foam blood…

    And if you see coming towards you foaming milk then know that I am still alive, but if blood comes then I have reached my end. While you, my children, let not the secret out, do not let anyone know how to call for me.

    Milk cresting on an ocean wave.

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  • Yemaya

    Lady of the Ocean, Queen of Mothers, Mother of the Children of the Fishes. She is the River of Life, the ocean is her womb, and she is the mother of many of the Orishas. Yemaya shares the oceans with her lover / brother / son / brother-self, Olokun, and She governs the uppermost part of the waters where the sun’s rays mingle with Her waters to promote life and growth. Yemaya is everlasting, She is motherhood, the universal drive for the survival of a species, the procreative urge, the instinct of a mother protecting her young, and She is the governess of all life on Earth. She is the Most Fruitful of Women, and both She and Olokun are the protectors and benefactors of those who wish to conceive. Yemoya, being the mother of Shango, also has jurisdiction over rain and snow. She has seven roads and seven manifestations, all corresponding to the Seven Seas. She is the blood that pumps through our veins, and the sound of our blood rushing through our bodies is Her lullaby. She is in constant motion, never resting, ever vigilant and though she may seem calm on the surface, there is always activity within Her waters. The Great Mother possesses breathtaking beauty, patience and a gentle hand, yet She is also fearsome, temperamental, moody and stern. She nurtures her children, but She is also a disciplinarian. She is symbolized by the fish, mermaid, seagull, wharf rat, ibis, vulture and duck, and She shares the beauty of the peacock feather with Oshun. Her ofrenda is a bounty of melons and grapes, strewn with the petals of the flowers of motherhood, draped with sea mosses.

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