Our Relationship with Life

Some days I get hooked on an idea that I can’t shake. I like to dive into metaphoric concepts and see where they take me sometimes. It’s a big part of my creative process.

I began to think of the sea. I think that the ocean is a pretty commonly used metaphor for life. It’s vast and deep, full of danger and beauty; stormy at times, and calm at times. The ocean looks beautiful from a far but can be terrifying when you find yourself treading water in it all alone. The symbolism is endless. So I began to consider as many correlations between life and the ocean as possible.

I began to go further now and consider how we as people fit into this metaphor. What relationship do we have with the ocean? How do we navigate through it?

Man learned how to build a boat. Boats shelter us from the dangers of the ocean. Boats can be steered and controlled. We are safe in our boat. We fill the boat with everything we need to be comfortable. We can control its course within a system that is uncontrollable. Our boat is our most trusted friend.

Or is it?

I began to feel something different and unexpected in regard to the boat concept, but Instead of ignoring this subconscious glitch in my logical progression into the metaphor. I chose to consider it even further. The boat began to feel stifling. Smothering in a way, keeping us from the ocean we cant escape. It shelters us from the dangers in the ocean but also keeps us from its beauty. I began to see the boat we sit in as a representation of our fears and pain. We sit in it and make our way through life. We are confortable with it because it is familiar. It represents our limitations. We keep it as strong as possible to protect us through the hard storms and unknown dangers within our lives. If life gets too big or too rough, and begins to overtake our boat we begin to panic and try to find way to keep the boat from sinking. We are afraid to tread water. We don’t know if we have the stamina to cope with it. It would require a willingness to move with the flow of the ocean. We are exposed to all of the oceans secrets and must be ready and strong enough to stay afloat.

I believe I have a boat. I’d like to think that I leave it behind at times and explore a bit. I will make more of an effort to become a stronger swimmer regardless.

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