Let’s meet again, for the first time. If you could introduce yourself to strangers by another name for just one day, what would it be and why? (Author: Becca Wilcott)
Daphne Davenport was the protagonist of my kindergarten fantasies. She was an upper-middle class, slightly Great Gatsby-ish woman of means. She was successful, beautiful, and probably even had a Lover.
Delphinia Seastar was my fifth grade alter ego. She had hair past her waist and could laugh like a bell. She was, in fact, a mermaid.
The journey from Daphne to Delphinia was one I understand a lot of young girls take from age seven to twelve. Daphne believed that one day life would serve her up everything she clearly deserved. Delphinia saw only disappointment on the menu and sought an escape. Daphne had a comfortable place in society, and was connected to humanity. Delphinia, while completely free, was also solitary and sexless.
Early in our courtship, Joy had a dream in which I told her “Call me Daphne.” I shit you not. She did not yet know the story. It turns out, my adult life is surprisingly more Daphne than Delphinia. Daphne and I got married, have a family, own a home, feel satisfied, although we are not nearly as wealthy as we expected. Yet, Delphinia is still here, occasionally whispering we might disappear, be found holed up in an ashram somewhere, or at least teaching yoga at an eco-resort in Belize.
So, I try and give Delphinia room to swim, usually on my yoga mat. There, we sometimes touch the place Rumi describes:
What I want is to leap out of this personality
And then sit apart from that leaping
I’ve lived too long where I can be reached.
Those lines are only partly true for me. For the most part, I emphatically do want to live where I can be reached – and seen and heard and loved. By all means, please do call me Daphne. And, from time to time, Delphinia.