I hope you can sense a theme developing here with Neeve’s seashell. Contained in the seashell are things that we understand in a concrete way but which are reductive, ethereal and elemental in another way. These items work well for a magical seashell and much better than say an electric toaster, a banjo or an axe. Let us just rewind the story and suppose that Neeve had met different characters on her journey. For example, when she walked through the forest she could quite easily have bumped into a lumberjack and he could have given her an axe. Yes, difficult to fit into a magic seashell. She might have encountered a princess busying herself making toast and again you can see that if she had gifted Neeve the electric toaster then this would not have fitted in her seashell. Instead of a blackbird singing, Neeve may have encountered a travelling musician who played the banjo and magnanimously presented her with the instrument. All of these would have been difficult to fit into a seashell.
The abstract items in the story actually work much better, not to mention the avoidance of clutter which brings me to the point of this blog. The items mentioned, by their nature, are minimalist and align themselves with this particular outlook in life. The reductive qualities of perfume, colors and song compared to electric toasters strip to the bare essentials the need for our human satisfaction for material consumables. In the future, it may well be that we, as human beings, use our minds to recreate any color we wish or to hear any song or experience any smell. Perhaps the seashell is a metaphor for the future human mind. Who can tell? When we are reading this story, perhaps we assume that it takes place in the present but it may have been set one hundred years in the future when mermaids live in the ocean, princesses live in the clouds and blackbirds could speak.
Anyway, the story is nearing its conclusion so keep an eye out for the resolution with the next blogs.