The Swan, an elegant creature who delicately caresses the water as it seems to glide nonchalantly, without care across the glassy pool. A beast so pure and tranquil; the swan seems to gently kiss the surface of the shimmering mirror; a beast that desires no ill will or malcontent for the world. This creature, a figure which seems so calm and secure with its own existence, as it flows so simply, concerned only with the world as it is here and now, not worrying about the troubles of our unhinged reality. Although these words are often true of this glorious beast, it would be a mistake to presume that this is all that there is to be believed of this magnificent and complex creature. It is important not to misconstrue ideas based on appearance alone but to look beyond what you see and appreciate the reality of true nature, not just in these beautiful swans, but in each other.
The Swan gracefully dances on the glassy mirror and looks beautiful in its divine simplicity. A mirror however, only shows you what is always on the surface and never below, never deeper to see the truth, and the truth is hardly ever simple. A misconceived notion about the swan, before trying to discover a hidden truth, is that it appears that the swan is not doing anything, besides gracefully gliding across the water without a care in the world. The truth however, is only hard to find if you’re not looking for it, and once you look deeper, it becomes quite clear. Once looking beneath the watery mirror, you can perceive that for the swan, though it looks at ease, there is quite a bit of arduous work going on. This seemingly relaxed creature is actually doing quite strenuous labor in order to keep afloat in order to keep moving and survive. This creature, no matter how its feeling on any single day, must persevere and keep swimming in order to maintain its living. The wonder of the swan is that it maintains its dignity at all times, which is why people tend to misinterpret its grace for simplicity. The swan is more of an example of grace under pressure, which is something we all need to strive for, however, the swan is also an example of something much more profound than that.
It was not first intended for me to discover and write about the swan in this fashion, however, I learned something more profound as I went along. At first I was going to transition into examples about my mind and how it works so fast and is so complex which is why I enjoy writing. I realized however, that I was writing about all individual people and the issues with stereotyping and putting people into categories. A quote from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie says, “The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.” My words about the swan was actually a metaphor about people and how some people stereotype them and make one story, based on misconstrued ideas, into a generalized idea, where one fits all. It is true that swans are graceful creatures and they look pleasantly on the water, but there is so much more to them than that. I realize that this was also about others realizing that a single person, though may seem simple, there is so much more going on their mind then it appears. We as a people must learn not to judge based on appearance and stereotypes and learn to understand people from under the surface to the top. This also can be interpreted as helping people understand that it’s okay to break down the barriers that keep people away and keep them from understanding you, for when they do, they will appreciate you much more and understand your struggles. Keep moving on and “Just keep swimming!” -Dory
*This post is dedicated to Jennifer Morrison’s Emma Swan on Once Upon A Time, the strongest Swan I know of!