Thursday, 14 July 2016

Maiden, Mother And Mistress Of Mysteries

Als is an island in Hrolf Kraki's Saga but seems to be a town in The Merman's Children:

"...the two crossed streets of Als lay thick with shadow..." (p. 19)

Eyjan the mermaid loves the sea and translates a poem composed by her brother, Tauno. To summarize, the sea:

is clad in sun, moon, rain and wind;
strews gulls and spindrift;
below, is green, gold, calm and caressing;
has shoals, herds, pods and flocks of children;
is the giver and shelterer of the world;
deeper, keeps darkness, mystery and terror;
is Maiden, Mother and Mistress of Mysteries;
enfolds weary bones.

Eyjan thinks that a land dweller might get the same sense by thinking of earth, the year and Mary in her sky-colored cloak. Maiden, Mother and Mistress comprise a Triple Goddess.

Neil Gaiman's cabin body loves the sea and dislikes steam ships:

"What's the point of being a sailor, if you're living high above the ocean, instead of cool and comfortable below decks, cooled by the water, listening to the sea go by.
"You're a romantic.
"Why be a sailor, if you're not?"
-Neil Gaiman, The Sandman: Worlds' End (New York, 1994), p. 73.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

The answer to the question about Als seems easy to me: the main town or village on the island simply took its name from the island's name.

And, as a Catholic, I simply can't agree with people who try to turn land or sea into persons, even gods. They too are creatures of God which were ultimately created by Him. And that includes disagree with attempts to identify the BVM with the sea.

I would certainly agree that seafaring has attracted many, many restless men over the ages. Men some of whom wanted to explore and discover other lands. But, of course, for most it was simply a means of making a living.