Dark Mermaid

Our bodies are worthy no matter what the eyes decipher them to be. Every body holds within, the undying essence of soul, a temple for the Sacred Self. Dark Mermaid series is a celebration of darkness, water, flesh and vulnerability for this is where we live, grow and rise. Swimming through chaotic stormy oceans and calm ponds, we thrive. As we bloom, our voice ripples out into the world singing songs of beauty and chaos sirening toward us that which is meant for us to experience in this lifetime.

In this series, the three major themes explored are water, darkness and movement. These are the components that a mermaid embodies. These are the components we embody in the womb. We are each brought into this world through these three themes which I will briefly explore.

  • In water, we can float or drown. We can swim with the current or against it. Water can guide us or destroy us. Water is fluid and ever changing. It is queen of the shapeshifters for it fills the shape of any vessel it encounters effortlessly. Water is powerful and gentle all at the same time. She is where yin meets yang, the perfect harmony of what exists in nature.

 

  • In darkness, we are blinded as our eyes slowly adjust the best they can to dwindling light. Since sight is such a primary sense, when we can not see, we become frightened. The reason for this fear is that we place all of our trust in our outer senses and not enough faith or power with our inner senses. Our intuition, our sense of knowing, is the darkness that lives within us. Those “gut feelings” are the roots by which we are bound into the dark, fertile, nurturing source of our power. Darkness is the sheltered, untouched, internally realm within that is and has always been worthy.

 

  • In movement, we live. Everything is in constant flux. Everything within and around us is in the process of movement at every moment. We may not be aware of the constant energy of movement that is our life but that does not mean it is not so. Even awareness, is consistently changing to be aware in this moment. Every moment changes and flows into the next and so our consciousness does too! Through conscious movement of our body, we are able to see how the smallest changes can look and feel immensely different. The bigger the change, the easier it is for us to practice being aware of it and so in these postures, submerged in water, I am able to feel how the water bows down to my form, how I have the power to shift the shape of that which surrounds me and how one small movement has a ripple effect on every other interconnected thing. If everything is connected, that means one small movement shapes the world.

Dark Mermaid Series began as a photography series of playful exploration with the element of water during an anniversary trip to my childhood getaway in the Berkshires. One day, late at night, more than a year after the photographs were taken I discovered them once again after having forgotten about them and began playfully experimenting with them in photoshop. This was a difficult process. It was over a year later and I was also now at least 10 pounds heavier, the heaviest I had ever been, and suffering from extreme hatred towards my body. I struggled with the fact that entering my late twenties I, for the first time in my life, was struggling with my weight. Even at the time of these photographs I was heavier than I normally was so to witness and examine these photographs in comparison to my prior form was at that moment heartbreaking to say the least.

Dark Mermaid Series has been particularly challenging for me to work on and post given the intimacy of self portraiture and the vulnerability in exposing myself. However, it has been empowering which is the essence of the Shadow Goddess.

Hours through the dark night of examining myself, longing for the ease of being younger and never having even considered weight gain as a potential problem, I sat in a rooftop apartment with the moon high in the sky overlooking the Upper East Side and I felt shame, guilt, longing but most of all, empowerment. Alone in a high rise, quiet, dark room, I felt empowered to be a woman, to be honoring my feelings, to be facing them head on and to appreciative of what I had grown up with. I had a new found understanding and appreciation for other women who struggled with their feelings towards their weight including low self esteem surrounding body image. I discovered a new found appreciation for the workings of my body. Even though it had changed not only internally but in an obvious external way I was grateful that I was getting to experience life through a new set of eyes and a new set of feelings and difficulties. This process of change was beautiful. The process of having to work hard for what we want is beautiful. Yes, it is also tiresome, frustrating, and at some moments defeating but it is beautiful and it can leave us with such a deep profound sense of not only accomplishment but of appreciation.

Examining the dark mermaid within is meant to be challenging. It is not easy once you have grown into the light, into the world to travel back into the warm darkness of the womb. This journey however exhausting, punishing and awkward IS empowering which is the essence of the Shadow Goddess. Dive deep, shamelessly with grace into the starry zenith of winter night.

The emotional darkness that I felt while editing these photos translated into me editing them in a obviously visually dark way leaving very little light and eliminating the color from them just as the color and pep for my outward appearance had faded too. I purposefully clouded my face with shadow to keep some mystery, to hide my shame and lack of courage and power. As I gazed upon my creation I embodied the image in front of me, I felt the darkness but not in a heavy saddening way rather an empowering, wise and enlivened way. I felt the darkness and I felt like a mermaid with the shapes my body made in the water. I felt like a dark mermaid and so this series was born.

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I have always loved the element of water. I think its safe to say if I had a favorite element, water would be it. Perhaps, it is because there is almost no water elements in my astrological chart and so I feel drawn to that which I lack, that which I need. Ways in which water plays center stage roles in my life are many. I do not feel safe or complete leaving my house without a bottle of water. Whenever I physically do not feel well, I love to sit with hot running water running over me, soothing my body to tranquility. This is very similar to when I emotionally do not feel well, so do does the sound of running water along with the feel of it bring me great comfort and peace. Perhaps it is the subconscious reminiscence of being back in the fluid filled womb which we each grew in. Perhaps that is why dark mermaid speaks to my soul because I grew as a dark mermaid, I grew in the darkness, in fluid. The shear power of water amazes me, its ability to nourish, destroy, and drown. Its ability to take the form of any vessel shape shifting with ease.

Weeks went by with the soul of dark mermaid from that night still lurking within me until one day I finally mustered up the courage to post these beauties on my instagram with prose. I sat there, phone in hand staring at the first photo of the series I had decided to post, allowed my feelings to rise as waves would and words began spilling out. I posted each picture of the series of 9 on different days, posting all of them within about a month. With each one I posted, I wrote in that moment the prose that accompanies them allowing that pose, the unique asana and spirit of each photograph to guide me with feelings and words. I opened up my heart and allowed the messages to flow. I allowed the dark mermaid goddess within to speak. Here is what she said:

Dark Mermaid Series 1

Floating in darkness
I’m swallowed
Embodying
Shadow Goddess
Of sea

Spirit devouring womb
Holds space
For illusion
Grounding me to Earth


Dark Mermaid Series 2

Emerging from a pool of night,
Only my heart can decipher
That which my eyes see.

The body lies dormant
Caged in darkness
Safe from the burning
Of light

Mind breaks free
Absorbing nectar of sun
Penetrating into my soul
Sweating hope

I am free

Even in midnight gloom
I sprout
I rise
I am
Goddess.


Dark Mermaid Series 3

Finding stillness
Within movement
As I claw through the darkness

Hands of light
Reach through the void
That ego convinces soul
Exists


Dark Mermaid Series 4

In the void
I hang
From the fangs
Of darkness
That grip the meat of flesh
Holding me up
For the world to see
To radiate a flicker of light
Levitating within the night

I shine
As the candle doth
Burning bright
Until my flame is swallowed

Fear not
For that single breath of fire
Shared it’s light.
Together we lit up the night

Without me,
The glow burns bright
For the sunshine spread
As a virus
Throughout the blackened mask
Which the world wears

In death
I gained sight


Dark Mermaid Series 5

I suspend my breath
In darkness
For I feel caged

By the weight it holds
Hovering over me
Caressing each contour of flesh
Seducing me
Into submission

In prayer I sit
Levitating into the night sky
Spreading my wings
As I allow my light
To take up space
Within the heavy gloom
That surrounds my temple

I am worthy


Dark Mermaid Series 6

Giving birth to light
Within darkness
I bloom

Spreading my legs
My light
Devouring the clawed beast
That hides in the shadows
New life is born
Inside of me
Penetrating the world
Through voice

The voice of Freedom
Labor’s through me
Flying it’s way out of my womb
Slaying the blackened void of ash


Dark Mermaid Series 7

Suck in the tides that crash against the ribs
It will devour the Goddess
Eating her alive
Gnawing at the seat of her empowerment
Burning through the darkness
Blinding you

Allow her freedom
To wander in the womb
Stretch out in comfort of being
Exploring the darkness that is she
Awaken the Goddess
Raw, wild and free


Dark Mermaid Series 8

In rough waters
Vision becomes distorted
Self worth mirrors
Contorted reality and
Lightning within is perverted

Drown movement,
Find stillness
in the ocean of mind and
truth will shine her light upon you.

You will begin to see
with your heart,
Realizing the eyes
Are the testicles of devil
That give birth to illusion.

Close them.
Escape the light
Dive deep into shadow
Survive the twilight

-this is where you grow


Dark Mermaid Series 9

I welcome the gloom
With arms outstretched

“Embrace me” I whisper

As I have made love to you
For many turnings
of the mother’s womb

Allowing you to nestle your power
Inside of me
Shielding you from the flame
Of a burning sun
Allowing you to devour me
From the inside out
With your biting grip
Feeding from that which
My soul secretes.

Dancing with you
And surviving to see
The beauty
Has been my greatest honor

While I may not
Share vows with you,
You will walk down the aisle of eternity
Holding my hand
Giving me away
To new found
purpose and strength
That only you could provide.

– love affair with darkness


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