Set in Sandoy, Faroe Islands, the Kingdom of Denmark
This is not the sea. This is not the ocean. This is not even a body of water. There is meadow upon meadow. The grass is a dehydrated green, merging with yellow tulips at bloom. Hills are in the distance. Or are they mountains? Are they cliffs?
It’s impossible to tell because they are so far, and there is mist, and all around her the wind is howling. It is cold but it is also warm, with grass tall enough to hide the distant bodies of cows.
There are giants walking up and down. They lurch towards each other, they disappear into the mist. A witch is cackling but the witch has no body. The witch is a voice.
Soon you will drown again, and you will come across the shadows.
This is not just a spell. This is not just a song. This is a reminder, replaying over and over again. Nothing is eternal. Even this world that has appeared out of nowhere is an illusion.
And yet it feels so real.
The grass nicks against the skin. The wind blows dew into the eardrums. The witches are chanting, and their words blur through the mist. There are ballads being sung, too. A skipari skips through the meadows, fiddle in hand, until he is stomped upon by the giants. They laugh and toss aside the bloodied mess their foot has created as if it is excrement they have stepped on.
All around is meadow. All around is mist. All around is song and spell. And there is no dancing. Why is there not any dancing? In such a wide furry swathe of land there must always be dancing.
Mother remembers a time when she loved dancing.
That was the time before she realised the importance of God.
Then she gave up dancing.
She gave up a lot of habits.
She wonders if it was worth it.
People are chaining themselves together. Where these people came from, no one knows. But they are slipping hand into hand, skipping with each other, singing songs. They look so happy despite the giants reaching out to crush them. They look so connected in a way so few people of this century appear.
Mother is getting old. And the world is changing, the world is moving on, the world is leaving her, as she knows she is beginning to leave this earth.
The earth of this meadow is tearing. The meadow is being torn apart into a chasm. The giants are falling in, the witches are shrieking. The mist is growing wider and wider until it is grey all around, and Mother once more feels like she is standing on water.
Has she returned to the bottom of the ocean?
She feels like she is sitting on top of a horse.