Wow. Today has been a long one. One of those days when, as a writer, you are having to fight and scrape for every word. The prompt for today was to briefly research a place that you have never been, and use that as the setting for your story. I read that and had this amazing idea that involved Seal Island off of the coast of South Africa. It was perfect; gorgeous setting with lots of opportunities for adjectives, excitement, jumping sharks, self-awareness. Except it never came. It didn't flow and it would not be drug. Really. Everything I wrote was horrible. However. However, my muse, Cecelia, fickle wench that she is, apparently didn't forsake me altogether because as I was researching a well-loved book in my collection (The Shark God by Charles Mongomery), I became obsessed with trying to write part of my story in Bislama. I thought that it would be a great tie-in as it covers the groups of Melanesians who believe that some spirits return as sharks. The original story never got written, but the Bislama did. This may be horrible as well, in fact I think it is, but time runs short and it is all I have. So please indulge my little mental exercise. The translation is below, but to best enjoy the beauty of this language, I suggest you read the passage out loud. I think you will find the translation is not necessary. And bear with me, I promise regular programming returns tomorrow.
TakTak Tamavha Blong Mi
Mi Papa hem gudfala. Katsom magic, i blong hem. Wen son he blong hem draon mi bleve see hem nomo. Me bagarup. Kaikai nogud. Stop swim mi. Mana blong mi nomo. But, one a monintie me see pigon blong solwata. He taktak me. Gudfala he go sanbich me fala. I looklook solwata. Papa! He swim. He taktak say mifala cry nomo. Gud tamavha taktak blong mi. I savve Papa shark, mi gudgud ogleta. Lookum mi bakagan blong hem.
An Answer Prayer
My father was a wonderful man. He knew the magic and culture of our people. When the sun set on his life I thought that I would never see him again, and I was broken. I could not eat. I did not bathe. The will to live ran out of me. But, one morning I saw a seagull. The seagull talked to me, and told me to follow. I followed him to a sandy beach and looked out into the water. There was my father, swimming in the water. He spoke to me and said that I should not cry anymore. It was an answer to prayer. Once I knew that my father had returned as a shark, I felt much better altogether. I finally got to say my goodbye.