Yes. Everybody has inner-landscapes. There are thousands of worlds living under-skin.
These days the place and the person I visit the most is The Old Mermaid that lives in a cabin by the lake. When she was young she left the sea and found her legs. She explored the world. She looked at the sky and loved it and cherished the stars. She relished the way the hard ground felt under her feet. She liked to listened to rock-songs and tree-whispers. The earth made its way into her skin and into her spirit. Though at night, she still dreams of waves and underwater cities. Her breath smells of salt and algae. And her voice tugs and pulls at you like the tides.
She lives in a log cabin, deep in the woods, by a deep lake whose waters are still and brown. She has a garden and she takes walks everyday along the deer paths. She listens to the birds and tries to mimic their songs. Sometimes she goes by the shore and swim naked in the lake. At first the water was so foreign to her skin, lacking salt and movement, but she liked the deep still depths of the lake. When she floats on her back, her ears immerse in the water, and closes her eyes, she can hear the faint voice of the sea, as all lakes are connected to the ocean somehow. That’s the closest she goes to her home-world.
I go and visit her frequently. She has a special type of wisdom, which I find comforting. She is a bit rough and she likes to make fun of me a little, as old people like to, sometimes, when young people are being foolish. Her face is full of wrinkles and laugh lines. She smokes pipe after pipe of sweet smelling tobacco and bakes an inordinate amount of cookies. I sit in a chair besides hers on the veranda, and sometimes all we do is look at the lake and the trees and the birds dipping in the water. She smokes, and we drink tea or liquor and we eat cookies.
When she is a bit inebriated she tells stories of her youth, when she lived in a water-world far from dried dirt and open-skies. she has scales from her old tail sewn in the linings of her clothes. I find that talking to her is calming. She has a no-nonsense way of looking at things and she never lets me indulge too much in my own self-pity.
Recently I’ve discovered that there is a sailor. A man who arrived on the shore of her lake in a magic boat. A boat that sailed from the sea and up the rivers and stream of its own freewill until it stopped there, at her house surrounded by woods and mountains. He smelled of sea wind and fish and I think she loves him. But I have never met him.
We are friends, the old mermaid and I. I cherish her most of all. I think I could be her, and maybe she was me. Or maybe we aren’t what we seem while we sit and look at the sun dip below the mountains and bat at mosquitos and run indoors to sit at the kitchen table telling tales of worlds we have visited, worlds we have loved, worlds we hope to see.