Ode to Unity

| By Paul | | Comments (7)

Once upon a time, on an island far far away, a little girl named Dolly lived with her Dad. Dolly so loved the ocean because the other little girls on her island were mean and she wanted to sail across the ocean to get to a new land.

One day when she was old enough, her Dad taught her how to make a sailboat and said "If you want to sail across the ocean and get away, then you have to build your own boat."

Dolly said: "Okay, I can do that."

Her Dad didn't like the ocean and never ever made a sailboat before for himself or his daughter. So he did not actually make a boat for her. Rather, he showed her how to do it herself. He taught her about what materials one can use to make a boat, how sails work, about the wind, about how to navigate with a compass and all of that. Dolly paid close attention and to everything her Dad taught her. Then she started making her boat. After one week, she had her boat made. She was so happy. She told her Dad she was done. He said "So are you off to the new land now?" Dolly said: "Yup, Mmmm hmmm."

They went down to the ocean, she got in the boat, and her Dad pushed her out into the ocean. And off she went. She went about 50 feet when the boat started sinking. Dolly had to climb out of the boat and quickly swim back to shore.

Dolly was sad. She said "I spent a whole week making that boat and it didn't work! A whole week!"

Her Dad said "Well, you will learn what you did wrong and next time you will build a better boat."

So, Dolly went to work on the next boat. She realized that since her first boat sank that there must have been holes in it. She made the first boat out of bamboo. She was very clever and decided she was going to fill the gaps in the bamboo with something to keep the water out. She looked around to see what she had available, and decided she was going to lather on lotion in between all the seams.

Dolly was all proud of herself. She was smart because she even used lotion that was made with lots of oils and would not wash away with the water.

With her boat all made, Dolly and her Dad again went down to the ocean. She got in her boat, and her Dad pushed her out. And off she went. This time, the boat went out 500 feet before it again started sinking.

Dolly couldn't believe it. She had to again get out, and again swim back.

Dolly was a really good swimmer, so it was really not that big a deal.

She came back to the shore and she said to her Dad: "I spent a whole month making that boat and it didn't work! A whole month!"

Her Dad said "Well, you will learn what you did wrong and next time you will build a better boat."

So, Dolly went to work on the next boat. She figured out that the lotion wasn't enough to keep the water out. So, she looked around to see what could fix it. They didn't have much, but she found some beef jerky. She thought that if she filled the bamboo gaps with beef jerky and then the lotion that it would make a really good seal and that would work.

With her third boat all made, Dolly and her Dad again went down to the ocean. Again her Dad pushed her out. And off she went. This time, the boat went out 2 miles before it again started sinking.

Dolly swam all the way back in just a few minutes and said to her Dad: "I spent a whole year making that boat and it didn't work! A whole year!"

Her Dad said "Well, maybe you need to do something really different."

Dolly said: "Like what? If I keep trying to make new boats and failing it will take my whole life and I'll never get off this island."

Her Dad said: "You are your own boat. Did you ever wonder why you can swim so fast and so far?"

Dolly said: "No."

Her Dad said: "Because you are a mermaid. You can swim to any land you want, and come back again and visit me."

And this is what Dolly did. She lathered herself with lotion, ate some beef jerky and then swam away.

This story was written "free form" (not edited and just written as if it were being spoken). It was done on the same day as the art piece I wrote about in Unity. It was for my daughter who loves me to tell her creative stories. Recently, I have been asking her to come up with three items she wants in the story, which makes it a bit easier for me to write them. Maybe in a follow-up post I will provide some context. But, for now, I will let the story stand for itself.

7 Comments


CimmerianInk said:

My first thought after I read your comments at the end of the story was that you are a wonderful dad. Castorgirl recently reminded me of the fact that good fathers exist by reminding me about you.

I don't know if my other thoughts are in line with what you meant when you wrote this story, but what *I* took away from it personally was that healing takes time. I know that I get impatient and I think, "I've been in therapy for over a year! What's taking so long? Just get over it already!" But it doesn't work like that. We get tools to use. We have setbacks and we get frustrated over how long things take but it's
also us who will be responsible for healing in the end.

I don't know... that's just what I took from it and it was a lovely story.

Paul Author Profile Page replied to CimmerianInk:

Geez CimmerianInk, I don't know what to say! It's hard to hear sometimes that I'm a wonderful anything. But, thank you! The angle you brought up was one that I had not thought about. That's the nice thing about writing free-form. If you can do it, it's a great exercise because it's about right brain and tapping into subconscious.

CimmerianInk replied to Paul:

I had to laugh Paul because when I read that my angle wasn't one you had thought of, it made me think how par for the course that is for me. My brain likes to think of things sideways instead of the way it should lol.

I've never really looked into free-form writing but if that's how you accomplished this story? Wow... good job :)

castorgirl said:

Hi Paul,

Thank you for sharing this story with us.

Because you've linked it to your post on Unity, it's difficult not to read it within that context and try to make connections... That also makes me aware of the potential importance of this story for you, so I want to be respectful of that. But, it's such a lovely story that I didn't want to leave it without comment... Like CimmerianInk, I saw the message about giving yourself time to learn new ways; but I also saw messages about looking at the skills we already have, in new ways.

I saw many messages and layers to the story... I hope it helped you too.

Take care,
CG

Paul Author Profile Page replied to castorgirl:

Thanks CG. Yes, this was important. I haven't held onto it though. Things have changed and I will have to try to make sense of where I'm at now.

Laura said:

That's a beautiful story. She's a lucky girl to have a Dad that loves her so much.

I didn't really read anything into it - hard at first, considering who's blog I'm on. And whenever I read a story about a little girl and a dad, I expect something horrible to happen. So...

Without all that junk, it's a beautiful little story. It makes me want to draw a picture :)

Best,
Laura

Paul Author Profile Page replied to Laura:

Thanks Laura. I do hope you draw a picture!

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry published on January 10, 2012 1:54 PM.

Expressive Arts Carnival Activity No. 15 was the previous entry in this blog.

Expressive Arts Carnival No. 15: Obstacle is the next entry in this blog.

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