Burned by the forge of passion; overwhelmed by the palette of red, orange, yellow and gold used to paint that most elusive, and oft illusory, of emotions, the girl took the cloak of magic and, under a Moon as Full as her craving for love, transformed herself into a Water Fairy.
A new environment, she sought, and an answer to a question so often asked, in tears’ lonely paroxysms, when the transitory and surface shading of hearts-and-flowers-and chocolates gave way to bitter gall and back-turning and sizzling spite.
The question which hovered between the known and the mysterious; which walked beyond the human relationship descriptors and attempted something new and strange and liberating; which looked to the West, to the Lady of the Lake, to water and emotions and depth; which understood, at a level quite apart from words, that the burning away process of the fiery furnace of lust allowed the tempered metal, dipped in cooling water and exposed to the healing gusts of air, to become something quite other.
Dressed in soft colours – gentle lilac, earthen green and cooling turquoise – the girl, in her fairy guise, slipped sweetly beneath the waves. The Moon’s gigantic sphere, distorted and wavering at this depth, gave comfort; the fronds of weed, viridescent as shining emeralds, caused a bubbling stream of child-like laughter, the natural response – away from the cardboard world of long-past-its-sell-by-date courtly gesture and speech destined to part body from clothes – of the trapped child’s spirit.
Tears fell, in this strange underwater world, as shells in shades unknown to man enchanted, and undulating creatures bared their barnacled and barbed undersides – In warning? As a mating display? At this depth, no human could possibly tell! – and mer-people looked on in astonishment.
Feet wiggling in the sensuous liquid world, the fairy-girl fell ever more speedily through an element as familiar as gestation, yet as alien as the true heart of love. Her tears and little moans of recognition blended with the rhythmic oceanic whispering and whooshing to make a symphony of deep sound. She saw, with utter clarity, how easily she and her kind sloughed off the magical skin of childhood in order to grab the largely superficial and regimented garments of young adulthood’s love games. She saw the dullness and despair, the cramming of the spirit into the metaphorical tight-fitting glass slipper, and the worthlessness of so maiming the self in the pursuit of fool’s gold…
She saw, as the sea water caressed and calmed her, how the relentless chase after passion’s hart, through the forests of flattery and uneasy compromise and sacrifice to a god not worth worshipping, created a brittleness, a fold of hurt within, where the strong and vibrant heart of the child used to thump so wonderfully.
She saw, as seahorses lolloped past and shipwrecks creaked and wailed like the ghosts they undoubtedly held prisoner, that she had flamed and flashed and flurried in the becoming blushed redness of her age and nubility; how she had anointed her pretty mouth with the colours of intense arousal; how her every gesture had reminded the young men of the narrow passage of pleasure waiting to be wedged apart below.
The film of her younger self replayed its pitiless reels: The heat; the flaunting and flirting; the unease hidden behind the gasps of pleasure; the coolness after each fire; the ashes, so grey and sad, as phones failed to ring and texts kept their secrets.
Scorched once too often, she had fled. Told, like a dreadfully predictable mantra, that so-and-so was on fire for her, would be consumed if he could not have her, she sought solace in the cooler shades of the spectrum; looked for a bond, a connection, that went deeper than the flash-fires and their occasional collateral damage.
Fey for a time of her own choosing, her descent continued – until she saw, a little to her left, a tiny light. Beautiful, it was, a pale blue so relaxing and yet moving that the fairy-girl ached to touch it, to meld with it, to become one with its deep radiance. It was the connection without words. It was the reading of another’s skin; the tuning into a vibration unheard by anyone else; it was the intimacy which can happen without bodies touching at all; it was the passion which lies deeply hidden beneath the thrashing about and crying and slippery slap of bodies making love’s more obvious coupling.
She smiled. Reached out. Felt the blue stream of light tickling her palm and then, in a mysterious gliding motion, becoming one with her.
She realised, in that moment of close connection, that love encompasses all the colours of the spectrum (and more besides) and that humans were never bound by any law of nature which said they had to remain with the hot end of that rainbow curve. She realised that, for many people, deep love with its vibrating greens and blues and purples appeared frightening and cold, alien and mysterious…
Passion, she saw, is beautiful and greatly to be cherished; but, as with all things, it needs to be leavened by the contrasting colours of love; that all the elements play their part in this alchemy of love, and that people discard one or more in favour of the brightest and most obvious at their peril…
Smiling, she swam on, her heart expanding, its brittle shards snapping off and melting, like the icicles they had become, fathoms below her.