Picking Up the Piece


“The Old Mermaid found a piece of mirror in the wash,” he said. “And she was certain it was a mirror they had had when they were still in the sea, when they were still mermaids. She wanted to find all the pieces. She became obsessed with it. If she found all the pieces, she thought everything would be all right again. She wanted her old life back—even though none of the other Old Mermaids would have guessed she was having any trouble with her new life. To everyone else she seemed absolutely comfortable in the new world. Wild animals were drawn to this Old Mermaid, my mom told me, and she never seemed afraid.

“Anyway—what’d you say her name was? Ursula Divine? She couldn’t find any more pieces of the mirror. She kept that one piece on her dresser. In the morning, she’d glance at it to see how she looked. To comb her hair, things like that. It kept falling over because it was a fragment and wasn’t shaped like a mirror. Plus she kept cutting herself on it. So she went out to the wash and found some pieces of wood and built a kind of frame around the glass, just until she found the other pieces. Eventually, she hung the framed piece on the wall. Every day she looked at herself. After a while, she forgot that the piece of mirror wasn’t a whole mirror—she didn’t actually forget, I suppose. She realized it was a mirror on its own, and she began to recognize herself in the mirror. She stopped looking for the lost pieces, and she went on with her life. You told this all to my mother. She brought the broken piece of mirror home and framed it, just like the Old Mermaid had in the story.”
—Ruben Morales retelling an Old Mermaid tale to Myla Alvarez in Church of the Old Mermaids


chk said...


kerrdelune said...

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful............. and Happy Beltane to you, Sister Kim Mermaid. Love and hugs, Cate

kerrdelune said...

Beautiful, Kim. Is this photo a papreweight? Love and hugs, Cate

Kim Antieau said...

It's not a paperweight, but it looks like one doesn't it? They're like superballs. I found them in a toy store. There were twelve different mermaids! I was hoping for a thirteenth, but it was not to be, so I bought two of the same, so I have thirteen of these on my Old Mermaid altar.