The Selkie I Used to Be: Scars of Seal-Women and H...

The Selkie I Used to Be: Scars of Seal-Women and Hunted Witches

You asked me once how I came to be such a stone-hearted seductress, a wanton wanderer who would forever be bride to devil and wife to no one. The answers to your uninvited questions come only when I sleep and only in the late Spring, when the wounds of that life last lived reopen, when I see through her dripping eyes again, when I become nothing but a fraying sack of bitter longing and resentful contempt. Only in the Spring and only when I sleep am I her.

The year escapes me, but I swear I am humming righteous drinking songs and harboring political protest in my guts. The place escapes me, but I stand upon a rock-laden beach gazing Westward at seals negotiating with a storm. Neither my age nor my name is pertinent, and my story is never told by any paper-skinned grandmother to a hopeful maiden as she drifts to sleep.

When I am her, I sense I am not pondering any pressing questions about life’s meaning or god’s gender. I have been cast off my land, sent away by those who thought me wicked, but it is not a full-breasted, soft voiced mother-figure I miss, nor is it a bright-eyed babe or ever-loyal friend. When I am her, I miss a world I’ve yet to find and a lover I’ve yet to know. I miss the horned beasts and the fog on the fields. I miss painlessness, and I miss simplicity; when I’m Her, I’ve known neither.

I am chilled angst smoking like dry ice. I am the inhale before a wrong but inevitable choice is made, and I am the wild feminine called prick-tease, Witch, and murderess. I don’t know what color my eyes are, or how fleshy my belly is, but I know the wind whips my hair like worms drowning in rainwater. I know my heartbeat sounds uneven, and I know I could stay human and fight or run wave-ward and hope I’ve got some Selkie in my blood. No matter what I do, no one will save me. I know that I am a lone wolf-woman charged with heavy crimes and tasked with choosing between a loveless life spent starving in caves, a public and painful demise, or leaving an unbeauteous, bloated corpse behind for a wayward fisherman to find.

You asked me once why I am so threatened by your outstretched hand, and, even in my most honest moments, I cannot tell you why your compassion irks me so, but I think this wild one I used to be is partly to blame. On these wet, Spring days when the skies are unforgiving, I can still taste the saltwater and breathlessness. I can still feel my limbs fusing and slippery skin warming in the icy current, and I am again a seal-woman resigned to a lonely life underwater.

Danielle Dulsky

Danielle Dulsky is a long-time activist for wild woman spirituality and the divine feminine’s return. She is the author of Woman Most Wild (coming May 2017 from New World Library). A multi-media artist, yoga teacher and teacher trainer, and energy worker, Danielle is on a mission to inspire women to be fearless...