Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Tears From the Sea

The Great Wave of  Kanagawa
by
Katsushika Hokusai (Japanese, 1760-1849)

The Legend of
Mermaid’s Tears

One mermaid so loved a ship's captain that she didn't want to see him end his days in the sea. When the captain lost his footing aboard the ship during a storm and fell overboard, rather than call him to her the mermaid calmed the sea to save him. This was a tragic mistake for her: although mermaids have all the powers of the sea within their grasp they are forbidden by Neptune to use them to interfere in human affairs. As punishment, she was banned to the bottom of the ocean, never again to swim to the surface or see her beloved captain. Her tears are said to come to us as beautiful pieces of glass in stunning, crystallized colours. http://tinyurl.com/72xd22q

Last November I was honored to be the featured teller at Voice Mail, a wonderful, adult storytelling venue produced by Connecticut Storyteller Carolyn Stearns. (Find Voicemail on Facebook by following this link: http://tinyurl.com/88nlj6v .) The last tale I shared was my adaptation of a short story my aunt brought back from her trip to Germany. At the end of the program I passed around a basket filled with pieces of sea glass; I invited everyone to choose one in the hopes they would remember the message of the story long after we parted.

This week, Carolyn sent me a picture of the sea glass she picked that evening, which had been transformed by the gifted hands of her friend into a gorgeous necklace. I am thrilled that one of the stories I shared that evening will now travel with her always in a new form.

 A bit of background information on these gifts from the sea.  




  • It is said that it takes a minimum of three years for the waves, sand and tide to wear the broken glass down to the likeness of a raw gem or for a better term, what you now call  beach glass.
  • Glass beads have been discovered in Egypt dating back to 2500 B.C.
  • Cleopatra favored glass in her jewelry.
  • Mythology and the folklore of fishermen and sailors say they are “Mermaid’s Tears”.
  • The value of sea glass is greatly determined by color.
  • One of the most exciting finds is a piece of red sea glass, “The Ruby” of the sea and very rare. The odds of obtaining such a piece are 1 in 5000.
  • Sea glass is frosty, smooth, pitted, and glistening in appearance. This process is most often achieved over decades if not centuries.
  • Uncommon colors of sea glass include a type of green. These colors are found once in every 50 to 100 pieces
  • Extremely rare colors include gray, pink, teal, black, yellow, turquoise and red.
  • Orange is the least common type of sea glass, found once in about 10,000 pieces.
The information above was found at these websites:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_glass
http://www.mermaidspurseseaglass.com/lesson-in-sea-glass

STORIES

I was unable to find additional stories about sea glass but I offer you some tales of the sea.

The Great Sea Serpent
http://tinyurl.com/7knlbyy
The Little Mermaid
http://tinyurl.com/7zvo5dz
Sea Gods of Greek Mythology
http://www.theoi.com/greek-mythology/sea-gods.html
The Sea-Hare - German
http://pinkmonkey.com/dl/library1/story135.pdf

The Sea King’s Daughter – Russia
http://www.aaronshep.com/stories/032.html
The Sea King’s Gift - Finland
http://www.classicreader.com/book/1088/21/
The Sea-Maiden - Ireland
http://www.authorama.com/celtic-fairy-tales-19.html

Two Legends About the Sea Goddess Mazu (Fujian & Taiwan)
http://tinyurl.com/7stean5
Why the Sea Moans – South America
http://worldoftales.com/South_American_folktales/South_American_Folktale_21.html

These links will lead you to other blog posts I have written about mermaids and other gifts from the sea.

Crustaceans of the Sea
http://karenchace.blogspot.com/2011/08/crustaceans-of-sea.html                                                     
Mermaids –Siren’s of the Sea
http://karenchace.blogspot.com/2010/02/mermaids-sirens-of-sea.html

Trolling for Tales – Fish Stories from Around the World
http://karenchace.blogspot.com/2011/05/trolling-for-tales-fish-stories-from.html
Working the Waterfront – Tales of the Fisherman
http://karenchace.blogspot.com/2011/09/working-waterfront-tales-of-fisherman.html

CURRICULUM

Fairy Tales of the Sea:A Guide for Teachers – Twenty-five fairytales from around the world along with a teacher’s curriculum guide, offering many extension ideas for the classroom.
http://www.eric.ed.gov/PDFS/ED200418.pdf
Into the Oceans from National Geographic for grades K-2.
http://www.nationalgeographic.com/xpeditions/lessons/18/gk2/doubiletocean.html

Rose Island Lighthouse Foundation Education Program – Lesson Plans for 3-5.
http://www.roseislandlighthouse.org/lesson_plans/recycling_glass.pdf

CRAFTS

Odyssey Sea Glass - Do you like to walk the beach and collect sea glass? Perhaps you don’t live near the ocean so you buy your sea glass at a store. Here are some lovely ideas for crafts you can make with those “gifts from the sea.”
http://www.odysseyseaglass.com/sea-glass-crafts.html#Sea_Glass_Crafts


Sea Glass Planter - http://www.crayola.com/crafts/detail/sea-glass-planter-craft/





Karen Chace 2012 ©

This blog post was researched and compiled by Karen Chace. Permission for private use is granted. Distribution, either electronically or on paper is prohibited without my expressed written permission. For permission please contact me at storybug@aol.com. Of course, if you wish to link to my blog via your website, blog, newsletter, Facebook page or Twitter please feel free to do so; I greatly appreciate your support and personal integrity.


4 comments:

Carolyn Stearns Storyteller-Announcer said...

Thanks Karen, that was a magic night of stories and now I will always remember it. The necklace links me to two friends and that's extra special!

Tears Of The Sea said...

Wonderful Article. To This Day, The Beauty Of Sea Glass Still Amazes Me. Love The Mystery Of Trying To Find Out Where Each Piece Originated From.

Karen Chace said...

Your jewelry is gorgeous. The next time I am in Maine I will be sure to stop by! Thank you for writing.

Karen

Karen Chace said...

I consider that I great compliment Carolyn. It was indeed a wonderful night.

Thank you for all of your hard work and for inviting me to perform.

Karen