Local Author Jackie Morfesis releases Mermaid Crossing, a personal story of mythic poetry
By Miranda Steadman | Contributing Writer
Local author Jackie Morfesis is celebrating the publication of her poetic tale Mermaid Crossing, a journey from childhood to adulthood through the eyes of a mermaid. Morfesis grew up in New Jersey but was born in Charleston. Morfesis returned to Folly Beach every summer during the ’60s and ’70s, or back during “the cool days,” as Morfesis says.
While a Rotary Scholar at Rutgers University Morfesis traveled to Athens, Greece for a year to study goddess imagery and Ancient Greek mythology. Now as an artist, author, and advocate, she believes everyone needs the freedom to tell their story and explains that her aquatic tale is about empowering women to speak their truth and to heal in hopes that readers going through the same struggles can identify.
Inspired by her studies of mythology in Greece, Mermaid Crossing features poetry about Ancient Greek goddesses such as Persephone, who was abducted and taken to the underworld by Hades. An excerpt from the novel notes, “No dark lover needs to take me down. I swim alone … dreaming and waking in rhythm.” When writing Mermaid Crossing, Morfesis hoped to offer a transformation of healing that her readers could relate to.
True to it’s underwater setting, Mermaid Crossing contains a lot of ocean imagery, such as diving deep into an inner world and resurfacing. The story is divided into four sections. First, the reader dives under currents to go within and connect to wounds that were once shadowed. Following this phase come moonbeams that give strength we receive from Mother Earth. Next is the time of healing before the final phase of surfacing, a metaphor for reclaiming your life symbolized by breaking through the water.
Following a spinal injury, Morfesis felt she truly did go under water physically and emotionally, which inspired her writing. “For me, it almost makes all of the suffering worthwhile,” says Morfesis. Mermaid Crossing is beautifully written in poetry. Morfesis hopes to use her book as a starting point to host workshops for women to begin their own story. “I don’t just want this to be a feather in my cap, I want this to be a vehicle for healing,” says Morfesis.