Selkie-oBy kamala | Comments: 3485 | 2020-02-06
From time to time your life can be different, changing as the seasons, cyclic by it’s own way. But the ancestress you once were, is still alive deep inside. Hear what it says, let her breath, learn how to be it. Your inner self, is everywhere you go, your inner self, was and is always within you.
Now, listen the story of the wise Inuits, that tells us where are we from, and how can we understand our instincts, to find the road back to ourself. A folk tale about the homecoming of the soul, teach us how to be all creatures, to be someone our own self.
There was a time, when white sky and white land ruled this World’s landscapes. All dependents of it, great like bears, clever like dogs, mortal like humans, only seemed like dots in it’s distance. Nothing grown easy here, because the wind was so strong, could blow away even your mind…Out there, in the wild, words freeze; a sentence has to be broken off one’s lip, and heated up at warm fire, if you wish to understand what another say. People of the outdoor, live inside Annuluk’s frosted hair, hide in it’s richness, from the lonely eternity. Oh, Annuluk…our grandmother, the old wizard of nature…the spirit of Earth itself.
Even so, once there was a man, who lived here with the arctic ghosts, heard them move around with the snowstorms. Through these lonesome years, tears made his face look hollow, like the tundra and the heart he was born with. Tried to be happy poor fellow, build livelihood enthusiastically, sleep well and smile on the rare sun, but a mateless soul, is no more, than a melting piece of ice. When he paddled to hunt, often remembered the stories about seals, whom once were human being. There eyes brought hope, and made him believe, someone is close. Solitude was harsh, give no reason to go home, and sometimes the hunting turned into long wonderings under the polar latitude. Moments of peace these were, to feel the moonshine upon his face, listen the ice-float on calm waters; but one night, one without a catch, he drift with the current out to the seas. Scared the man was no more, he let the kayak approach it’s meaning. A strange rock popped within the view, and glancing till the top, he’ve seen odd movements. Rowed carful and slow, but his heart was beating fast. And of course, there was a reason for it, naked women appeared, so beautiful one can only imagine. Their body weaved like heat, their hair glossed like start light, and their skin was flaked with silver. The long legs and arms stoned our man’s anima, was loosing attention of the boat and the life he ever had before. Jingling laughter is what he heard? Or just the rumbling waves below? Wasn’t matter, dazed and confused, finally he was rescued from the gripping heartache that tortured him, for so long. Overjoyed, capable of anything, when the boat hit the rock, unconsciously he jumped out of it, stole a skin that laid on the ground, and hided under his qutnguqja, his coat. He was too afraid to loose this feeling, but it was a stolen pleasure…
Suddenly, a woman chip up, the man was enchanted by her voice…sounded like the songs of whales in love…no, like tumbling wolf cubs at spring time…no, much more…oh, no words to describe. She was ending their dance with these words, now all women put on a sealskin, and slide back to the ocean, smooth. Only one left to go, but she couldn’t find her own. Looked here, looked there, but was nothing to see, except the man, stepping up strong, but desperate.
– Please, be my wife, I’m a lonely man. – he said.
– I can’t. – responded the woman – I don’t belong here. My home is temeqvanek, the deep.
– Please, be my wife! – jog the man – I promise you, in seven summers, I’ll give back what I took, and you can decide than, if you want to stay with me, or go back to the sea.
The seal woman was watching him long, tried to look with her human eyes, and of pity or solidarity, we’ll never know, she replied:
– Fine, I’ll go with you now. But in seven summer time, I can retake my decision.
Soon, Ooruk arrived, a chubby child, curious of life. His lullabies talked not about the creatures of the forests, but the unknown blue. About the colors of fishes, movements of dolphins, families of seals. As he was growing bigger and bigger, as much his mother was drying out…Her skin lost it’s glow, started to peal off, and crack. Her glorious hair fall out, one day by another, her fullness disappeared… She loved her son more than anything, but her stolen spirit was calling alive. Blindness attacked her bad, until one night, her lights brake out, and shout like a beast:
– Seven years ago, you took something from me, this is the eighth winter, and I am cold. Only the warmth of my own home can help me, please hunter, give me back my soul skin.
Ooruk was scared, but listed sharp his parents talking.
– If I do, you will leave me – said the father – leave me and your son alone. What a terrible mother you are!
– I don’t know about that, what I know, that I’m dying without my true self, let me have my own choice!
Like nothing left to say, the man ripped off the hanging skin that covered the door, and ran far away into the dark.
As the night grown silent, wind whispered in Ooruk’s ears, calling him tenaciously. The boy loved his mother eternal like the snow fields, to see her crying, teared his heart apart.
– Ooooooruuukkkk! Oooooruuukk!
Scrolling toward the entrance of the igloo, half asleep and half awake, he followed the voice leading him under the bright starry sky, until a rock over the water. As a vision, a huge head of a silver seal, with mustard yellow eyes emerged from the stormy swell.
Quick like he could, climbed down the cliff, but oh, he stumbled upon a stone. Wait a minute…wasn’t a stone, more a bundle. As he struggled to reach it, the bag opened, and inside the desirable skin, with mother’s gorgeous smell, there was. He buried his face into it, and breath in her spirit, let diffuse all over his own soul.
– Ooh! – he shouted, with pain and love fused together. The old seal was gone by he looked up, dived back to the deep now. And the boy…he ran home like genesis, and gave mother her fur. Immediately she pulled it on, grab the child, and rush till the years aged nest. She wanted to stay together,but also knew, the ancient need will not allow.
Holding his face, she blew her sweet breath into the boy’s lungs, once, twice…and dip into the sea. Mother and son, breathing together as one. They swam until the shelter, where creatures of the ocean gathered. Among them was the huge silver seal, too, whom waited for them arms wide open.
– This is your grandmother – and they hugged each other warm.
– How do you do up there, my daughter? – asked the great silver seal.
– I hurt someone bad…a man, who dedicated his life to me. But I can’t return to him, because my life would became a prison.
– And my grandchild?
– He has to go back, his time with us, till awaits.
Days had gone, exactly seven, and the seal woman was shining like never before. Her hair grown thick, her skin got tough, her curves got rounded again. But the time had come for the boy to leave.
– I’ll always be with you – said his mother – just touch anything I touched, the fire sticks, my knife, the carved figures we used to play with. When you feel my spirit, sing for me, and I’ll be right there in your songs. That night, the full moon was lighting up the dark sky, helping Ooruk to find his path home.
In ocean of kisses, they took him to the surface, and let him live a mankind life, but in all of his tails, songs, and drumming, the ancestors been there with him, endlessly. People, they gossip about how him is one of a kind, survived a visit from the ghosts of seals, whom took the poor boy, to the violent open waters…
In the grey fog of the mornings, sometimes, if you are lucky enough, you can see him talking to a female seal. So many tried to catch her, but no one could ever succeed. They call her Tanqigcaq, the bright, the saint. And the ones whom seen her eyes… said it’s so deep and wise like the ocean, but fulfilled with the love, that only a human can feel.
Inuit folk tale
translated and edited by Kinga Karácsonyi