“At the age of five years I had the habit of sketching things.  At the age of fifty I had produced a large number of pictures, but for all that, none of them had any merit until the age of seventy.  At seventy-three I finally learned something about the true nature of things, birds, animals, insects, fish, the grasses and the trees.  So at the age of eighty years I will have made some progress, at ninety I will have penetrated the deepest significance of things, at a hundred I will make real wonders and at a hundred and ten every point, every line, will have a life of its own.”  —Hokusai, artist and creator of “Great Wave Off Kanagawa”

I often have dreams about tsunamis.  There have been several different variations: in one, I am on the shore and a dark wall of water is coming at me suddenly.  The sky is dark and no one else is around.  I know I can’t escape the water, and I wake up just before it overtakes me.  Another version has me on top of a cliff, looking down at the sea when the wave comes and takes out the town below.  I am the only one left and everything is silent.  The most horrifying is the one where a giant wave plucks me from the shore and carries me out to sea.  I ride on the wave, desperately hoping that each time it moves back towards the shore I will be able to get away.  At the last moment it picks me back up and throws me back out to deep water.

Dream interpretation generally says that water dreams are about your emotions, and that giant walls of water or drowning represent overwhelming feelings.  The thought is that your subconscious is trying to find a way to express the emotions you’re ignoring.  On the other hand, Carl Jung referred to tsunami dreams as archetypal dreams, and viewed them as symbols of spiritual change.  Having had dozens, maybe hundreds, of these dreams since childhood, I’ve always been slightly embarrassed by them.  Am I in such a constant state of emotional wreckage that my subconscious can’t help but terrify me night after night?  I think I prefer the Jungian interpretation: I’m not a wreck, I’m just experiencing constant spiritual change.  My hope is that that change is mostly for the better, that I too will gradually come to achieve perfection in my life, even though that may take a hundred and ten years.


Can't remember where I found this

“Full fathom five thy father lies,
Of his bones are coral made,
Those are pearls that were his eyes,
Nothing of him that doth fade,
But doth suffer a sea-change,
into something rich and strange,
Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell,
Hark! now I hear them, ding-dong, bell.”

The Tempest, Act I, Scene II

sea change: (noun) 1.  a striking change, as in appearance, often for the better.  2.  any major transformation or alteration.  3. a transformation brought about by the sea.