Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Postage Stamps and Selkies

Thanks to Melangell, who sent me a link to the Santa Fe Library blog that features the new 39 cent stamps celebrating Favorite Children's Book Animals. The post lists the books featured, so I shall let you follow the link. Of course, I have an urge to own a set of these stamps and never use them. I don't actually collect stamps in any official capacity, but every now and then I go through old boxes of stuff and find children's book themed stamps that I kept because I liked them so. I have this problem with stickers, too, in that I want to share them, but I also want to keep copies. I don't actively want to collect anything for the sake of collecting it-- I just want to know that it's going to be there when I look for it later. There's no guarantee that it will be there later, but I want it anyway.

In a sense, I am recreating the selkie story. I do not like the selkie story. In essence, a fisherman spies selkie women bathing in the sea, with their seal pelts on the beach. He takes the seal pelt of one of the selkie women, and she has to become his wife. He hides her pelt, fathers children with her, and all seems well until the selkie woman discovers her pelt locked away in a storage chest. Every time someone tells the selkie story, part of my brain shuts off. I have heard it over and over, but unlike other stories, for me it becomes even more tiresome and boring with each telling. If I'm going to be truthful, it's not because I identify with the selkie woman, but with the fisherman. I want to keep things safe in boxes, but when things are kept safe in boxes, I don't appreciate their beauty because (this is the clincher) I forget they're there.

This is one of those extemporaneous posts where I set out to write about one thing, and ended up thinking about something else. Really, I'm not going to fret over wanting to keep a set of postage stamps to admire in a box every now and then, but I do have some more insight into why I like to acquire objects and then give them away.


Lone Star Ma said...

Selkie stories are my favorite stories of all, though many do follow that depressing theme (I still like them). Not all, though. There is also:

The Seal Child by Sylvia Peck
The Folk Keeper by F. Billingsley
Seaward by Susan Cooper (sort of the depressing story but with a twist)

And there is a new sci-fi series by Anna McCaffrey that I haven't read yet.

I am writing a selkie series myself.

I want some of those stamps....

Nonny said...

Those stamps are too cute, seriously, I might want a set myself. I know all those characters! So glad you joined "Cute is key", we are growing by leaps and bounds now.

HitManJ said...

You now have a heart!

I'm not a fan of stamps at all. They are a means to an end for me. Stick 'em on a letter and slide it in the slot. That's what I say.

Alkelda the Gleeful said...

Lone Star Ma: I knew I was running a risk by posting my feelings about selkie stories! I actually like Secret of the Ron Mor Skerry (upon which the film "Secret of Roan Inish" was based), plus The Folk Keeper. I'm sure my feelings about selkie stories have something to do with hating the idea of being captured, plus the lovers being parted forever (because the selkie maiden usually does love her human captor eventually).

You might be interested in a book with selkies that I just read, which is a sequel to Troll Fell, called Troll Mill.

Nonny: "Cute is Key" is going to be trouble for me! I go to pieces over miniatures.

Hitman J: You are a wise and practical hitman. Stamps are for use. I know that. Yet... some of them are soooo pretty.

Lone Star Ma said...

Oh, thank you! More selkie stories for me!