maandag 2 september 2013

Finding a Voice

No picture of the Israeli heroines rafting, but from a silly
Belgian girl teasing the Nepali rafting instructors, November '11
Almost two years ago, I met several nice Israeli girls in Nepal, during a rafting trip. They were "mute": they communicated by Sign language. I was impressed they thraveled through whole Asia. People call me brave, or insance, because I traveled around the world on my own... but I think there are more courageous girls. I always say that I want to travel so much as possible, before I loose a leg, or something... but they could travel, with more handicap than I ever had. That is strength. 

Several months before I ended up in Nepal, I did a diving course with my good friend Sarah. Our diving instructor was also Israeli (coincidence?). He told me he loved diving, because in the ocean... nobody can talk to you. It is complete silence and peace under the surface of the water... 

The Ocean is also a theme my friend Andrew and I are working around: next Summer, we want to make a short film with some fantasy or escapism elements, in San Francisco, which I will combine with another idea, dream... I want to do there. The Ocean represents so many things: in many cultures it is the womb of humanity, the source of all beings, the beginning of everything... Also because of her connection with the moon, and the cycles -you know, the tides-, the Ocean is also connected with the feminine... 

During our brainstorming I remembered a short story, a modern retelling of "the little mermaid",  I created in my mind, also based on the impression the mute israeli girls made on me... but I never fished out this story out this ocean of ideas, to write down... but finally I already started to make a first draft, to put all the ideas in some logic on paper... So this is not yet a short story... but it is a beginning... maybe a beginning for a script of a feature or short film :)

So... guys...  tell me I have to kill this darling, or give it a chance to grow :)
Do you think I have to give this story a voice? Because there are many stories, without voices, or ears... and it is up to story tellers to connect stories with voices, and then find ears for them.


Prologue: A young woman is standing on a cliff, looking at the ocean and crying. From where is she? I didn't connect any location with her, or this story... 

We go back into time to know why she is crying.

She works as cleaning lady in houses old people. She has a grandmother, who lives in a cottage on the beach, close to the sea. Her grandmother has this witchy look, shells hanging in the wooden porch, a lot of art direction referring to the sea, nature... it is no wonder people say she is a witch.
This young woman cannot talk. Some superstitious bigots say that her grandmother stole her beautiful voice...

You've a handsome young man, whose passion is to dive in the ocean. He loves the ocean. He has a little sister. He teases his sister, when they walk to their old aunt, because after he explained her why he loves diving (for the silence) she dreams to be a mermaid. She is cute, 10 years old.
He leaves his younger sister in the garden, where his aunt is drinking lemonade, proposing he will take his own drinks. His aunt says that her new cleaning lady is mute, but he does not hear (watch out, there is a lot of metaphors about silence, ocean...) and sees the young woman, looking fascinated to an old expensive wooden boat. She startles, when she notices him, and starts cleaning the house.

The young woman goes to her grandmother, gives her a kiss, on her grandmother's cheek, her grandmother remarks she is a bit more nervous than else, and forces her to look in her eyes, "to read her thoughts", and then goes to the ocean, to sit there, and look sad to the ocean. Her grandmother looks to her granddaughter. The moon appears.

the young man goes diving. In the meantime, his younger sister is playing the little mermaid. She plays that the mermaid needs to save the prince, who felt into the water. The young man goes into the water. The young girl also tells loud what happens, and says the Sea Witch did some magic to let him drown, so he would be her food. At that moment some candles start to burn, and the young sister is scared. She runs out of the room. She yells to her aunt she felt something happened to her brother.

I am Diving in the Stories from Colombia, April '12
# just adding pictures in this blog to make it more colorful ;)

Her brother is in the ocean, and then gets startled when he sees a flower, who suddenly puts some purple liquid to his mask. He panicks, and thinks he will die. He see flashes, and also flashes of fishtails, and then from a girl, and then from a mermaid, back a girl... and next time he wakes up in a bed in the house of the grandmother of the young girl.The grandmother explains her granddaughter saved him from drowning. 
He asked "how", and the grandmother says the child has a deep connection with the ocean. She has some powers... The young man is a bit confused. 
The grandmother explains that the sea took the father, her sisters, and because of this deadly boat accident, also her voice, some years ago. 
"She could sing amazing songs to her sisters... but now she cannot talk."

He follows the grandmother on the porch. He sees the girl in the distance, and then he got pierced by a nail. He bleeds, the grandmother gives him a tissue... and then he remarks he should warn his family he is ok. "They don't like it always go diving alone..." 

"Deservedly," the grandmother remarked.

(When he arrives, his young sister embraces him, and told him she had a bad feeling about him. He talks with his aunt about the old woman at the beach, and her granddaughter, who cleans, and his aunt is one of the superstitious bigots, warning him for the magic of the sea witch. Young sister is impressed, and remarks the girl is maybe a mermaid, but he laughs, but then gets these flashes he got, when he had almost no oxygen, of the mermaid. Maybe leave this part away?)

He looks up the young woman, who is crying, on the cliff (like in the beginning). He wants to thank her. She looks up, and then he remembers she cannot talk. He gives her a smile, and takes a seat next to her. They don't talk, and look together to the ocean... the beginning of a new friendship, or something more...

Epilogue: the grandmother/sea witch is brewing something in her kettle, and puts the tissue with his blood in the boiling water... So is there magic... or is it illusion and fake? 

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