Friday, 1 April 2011


My curiosity about selkies hasn't abated one bit. I spent this morning tucked up in bed whilst the rain came down outside my window, and delighted in a selkie story for an hour or two.

I didn't know until today that Ondine's Curse is a real congenital syndrome, one in which the body only breathes voluntarily. It's name is taken from the German myth of water nymph Ondine, who fell in love with a mortal man and cursed him when he was unfaithful to her. He had sworn that his every breath would be testament for his love for her. When he broke his promise, Ondine made it so that he would stop breathing if he ever fell asleep.

My fascination with these sea-folk is mainly to do with the questions they provoke about the people that create the stories. Selkie tales seem to alway surround the tearing between two worlds and the conflict that exists within us all between falling in love and retaining a sense of self.

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