Sometimes it is easy to get used to an idea, to the point where it becomes stale. That’s when I enjoy getting a fresh angle on things. It took the simplicity of a blue sky to remind me how powerfully simple it is to love someone, and it took the complicated aspects of writing to show me insights into the soul.
The novella I have releasing at the end of this month, Across the Floors of Silent Seas, touches on both of these concerns, and it does so by first asking the question: “Do mermaids believe in humans?”
Sometimes people ask me, as a writer, what I believe in. Do I believe in God, dragons, mermaids, the power of balance vs. the power of good over evil, etc.? I like those questions, because my answers often show me exactly where my thoughts on such matters lie. And those are all questions a good writer will ask herself when building a new story and its accompanying world.
I thought it would be interesting to see if mermaids did believe in humans. After all, they are under the ocean, in a limited environment, they would have their own nutritional needs and survival instincts. They might have been there for thousands of years. Some might have heard stories of humans, from a world high above them, with things too fantastical to believe in (What would a mermaid who had never seen the sun think of stars? What about space? Air conditioning?). If I consider it from an evolutionary perspective, they would not need to feel the same way we do or even see things the way we do. From a spiritual/religious perspective, I believe that God goes to great lengths to let his people know of his reality. So if there was a community of merpeople, living under the sea, would they believe in humans?
I imagine they would be much like angels — and Jesus — for us.
When Jesus came to earth, in John 3, one of his most famous dialogues, he warned Nicodemus, a religious leader who was well versed in the knowledge of the scriptures, that Nicodemus would not be able to understand heavenly things. We forget in hindsight that the religious leaders of the day were not looking for Jesus in the sense that they were looking for a spiritual savior. They were looking for a military deliverer, one in the fashion of King David, someone who would overthrow Roman leadership over their nation.
I have seen a lot of “sympathy for the devil” type of stories lately. Some of the are good. Some of them make good points about the value of loving homes, good role models, and good education. But … I am a little tired of them. Not every bad guy is a bad guy because of his circumstances, but every bad guy is a bad guy because of his choices. I wrote Across the Floors of Silent Seas partially as response to this, and partially because I wanted to see my own worldview with fresh eyes — and partially because it’s a good idea for a story.
We look for mermaids because we are searching for wonder. But in our wonder, and our wonderings, we might miss important things about who we are, and who we assume we are.
Do mermaids believe in humans?
When Philip saw Jesus, he ran and told Nathanael the good news. When Nathanael expresses doubt (and even disgust) at the thought, Philip’s response is to “come and see.”
So come and see if mermaids do believe in humans — and come and see what the consequences of such belief will have should they choose to believe.
Check out Across the Floors of Silent Seas here!
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Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the One Moses wrote about in the Law, the One whom the prophets foretold—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”
“Can anything good come from Nazareth?” Nathanael asked.
“Come and see,” said Philip.