Dorothea Tanning “Truth About Comets” (1945)

What for the imagination of two little girls, especially if they are mermaids, to do during a snowy and windy winter? Boys can create competing snowball armies, fight and win or lose in the midst of a cold whiteness. But the girls don’t want to be here, where everybody else are. They want to be far away. They want to be above. They have to invent comets. They have to reinvent themselves as… comets. They don’t want to belong to the snow, to the cold, to people with their smiles and noisy voices.

Here they are both, particular, genuine, neat and, as if, from fairy tale. But how to go above? Here is a staircase. If you will go up you will be on the tree, and then – you have to jump… up.

Jump, jump, little mermaids! The sky is closed by the thunder-clouds. It doesn’t much matter for the comets. Their dream is to fly and burn and feel hot and free. They are ready to fly forever, to fly by themselves, not as boys dreaming to fly in metal boxes named airplanes. Mermaid girls will fly themselves and everybody will see and be envious and admire them. They will fly until they’ll become old – forever in the painting of Dorothea Tanning. They will show people how to fly and burn forever instead of living in cold and boredom between snow and trees, between childhood and old age. Oh, heroic beautiful little girls!

Com and Met – two sisters – Com is a little elder, Met a little younger. Met touched the staircase. And the sisters understood – this is not the staircase transformed into a tree, but the tree that has transformed into staircase in order to invite them up. Their trip to the top of the tree was hard, but flying up easy – they for the first time felt themselves in their own world. They were flying and burning and they felt warm and… above. And they were together and for the first time they had a feeling that they know who they are and where they are headed. They jumped through the clouds, they crossed the winds, and with their multicolored sparkles they are warming the world.

They were seen from the up and from the down – two courageous flying mermaids. They are what they wanted to be – alive comets. And they don’t want to return down, to the boring boorish people. They don’t need to. They will fly through the air – their wonderful wandering home.