Photographer: Lisa Honda of p.p.a.h. | CREATIVE
Location: Marin Town & Country Club of Fairfax, CA
Model: Abby Oliver of Indigo Children
Mermaid Tail: M&B Tails & More
Fin Design: Pablo Beronda of Freediving Tribe
Top: Abby Oliver
Special thanks to Michael and Anthony
All photos copyright Lisa Honda of p.p.a.h. | CREATIVE
My dad called today and told me the story of how I learned to swim. He said when my mom first took me to swimming lessons at the community pool, I screamed the whole time. This continued. I refused to get my head wet and just kept screaming for the duration of each lesson. They hired the pool owner’s daughter to give me private lessons which didn’t turn out any better.
So my dad says he took me home and watched the 1948 black and white film “Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid” which is still a favorite of mine today. The next day my dad took me back to the pool and I jumped right in, swimming underwater like the mermaid from the movie the entire time. My mom called over my private teacher who was stunned and wanted to know what had happened. Perhaps seeing another mermaid helped to remind me of who I am?
Today I still swim underwater the entire time. I am awkward at the surface turning my head to breathe in between arm strokes. But underwater, I move quickly and gracefully holding my breath for several minutes at a time, just like a real mermaid. I live on the beach in California far from where I grew up near the Mississippi River in the heart of the country. But being next to the ocean, and often in the ocean, feels more like home.
Much to the surprise of those who first tried to teach me to swim, I have grown up to become a free diver and underwater model. I wish everyone could experience what I do in the ocean. I love diving in the kelp forests off the coast and seeing all the beautiful fish and plants. The first 30 feet (9+ meters) I have to swim down, but then the atmosphere changes and I stop floating. If I keep going down further, I simply allow myself to sink into the ocean where the atmosphere gently pulls me down as though embracing me.
It’s stunningly beautiful down there and so different from the world on the surface. It’s the closest I’ve come to traveling to another planet. Imagine all we would miss if we lived in the clouds and looked at the tree tops of the forests but never ventured down into them. Free diving is also the closest I’ve come to flying. When I swim, it’s like I’m flying through the trees among the other birds (or in this case, fish). My world is full of grumpy looking stingray’s bigger than me, bright purple starfish as big as me, curious sharks who aren’t interested in eating me, schools of fish who swim along next to me, tiny little fish who hide in the kelp with me, and playful seals who zoom quickly past me.
The more I dive, the more real my dreams become. They aren’t like regular dreams though, they feel more like memories. If past lives are real, then certainly I was a mermaid once. When people talk about past lives, mermaids and Indigo Children, they talk about what they believe. I haven’t decided to believe or not. I simply remember.
I’ve visited the Hawaiian Islands many times now and there is something so familiar about them that comes from very deep within me. I’ve been to other islands and tropical places but I only have this feeling when I’m in Hawaii. Many people say that Hawaii used to be part of a large land mass called Lemuria that sank before Atlantis. The islands we know now would have been the highest points of Lemuria which are sticking up out of the water from the submerged land mass. When I meditate, I often begin to imagine a place that seems very similar to what Lemuria would have been like.
The more I meditate and dream and try to remember, the more it all comes to life. I’ve shared some of these memories with my friends and it’s as though the energy changes in the room. Everyone has had the same reaction of emotion and they have all urged me to share my story with a larger audience. I will when I’m ready. For the moment I’m happy to share my memories though images and film clips that I hope help you remember how magical life is and maybe you will start to remember yourself as well. We weren’t all mermaids in a past life, but we are all magical.
I do think being an Indigo Child has helped me remember myself as a mermaid. For one, Indigo Children don’t make the best corporate employees and so we do tend to end up supporting ourselves in unconventional ways such as being a professional mermaid. But also, my lucid and precognitive dreaming habits have played a big part in remembering. Meditating has had an important role as well. The more I nurture my intuition, the more I remember. Even so, my sparkly friend Fairy Paloma didn’t need to be an Indigo Child to find her true self as a fairy. I hope my mermaid adventures will inspire you in whatever way you are ready to be inspired.
Special thanks to magic artist Saul Escobar for the magical mermaid portraits. Follow him on instagram @whiskeytime.
Special thanks to my favorite freediver Pablo Beronda for designing the beautiful and functional mermaid tail in the photos. Check out Pablo diving in Hawaii on his website Freediving Tribe. If you’re interested in becoming a freediver or mermaid yourself, contact Pablo for lessons!