Break free

The Great Wave by Katsushika Hokusai

The Great Wave, the famous, critically acclaimed print by Katsushika Hokusai is admired for it’s tension and drama. The perpetual state of impending doom imposed over men in their flimsy boats contemplates the nature of ingrained and expected patterns of behavior in human relationships. The present state of fear and confrontation will surely end in violence and pain.  Tiny men row dagger-like boats poised to pierce through the hearts of waves… boats that will assuredly splinter into toothpicks as they are dwarfed by the towering wall of water prepared to lambaste. Is the ocean all powerful and god-like? Does the water choose or is it forced by the wind and water around it to rise and by gravity to bow down and crash upon flesh?

Fuji Seen from the Sea by Katsushika Hokusai And then there is Fuji Seen from the Sea. The wave becomes a flock of birds and lifts off from the ocean to the sky. Break free. Soar high. No container can hold you. You are not chained in place. You do not have to do what is expected of you.  You do not have to engage in destructive patterns that were set before you were even born. Become what you dream.  Go somewhere better. This is an earlier work from Hokusai and could symbolize a youthful avoidance of responsibility -a runaway. It is my favorite of the two. It, to me, represents the soul of an artist. This is a protest, a refusal to conform, but it is also peace, mercy and hope.

I think about these prints when I make decisions about relationships.

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