I’ve noticed in my writing that I often compare things to waves – emotions, self, identity, life. My favourite book is called The Waves, one of my favourite paintings is of a great wave; this imagery just seems to follow me. And so for me it all comes and goes in waves, perpetually ebbing and flowing, rising and falling, building and crashing.


I think that one of the mistakes I repeat most often is becoming attached to mindsets. I find a place where I feel whole and I struggle to retain an illusory grasp on this ‘goodness’. I keep doing the same things in the hope that I will stay on this high, keep feeling this way. But of course it never works.


I think the fallacy in all of this is that we never really ‘grasp’ on to anything in the first place. Because in order to hold onto something it needs to be fixed. And I don’t think that anything is ever fixed.


It’s like trying to capture the flow of a river, but as soon as you put the water in a bowl the motion subsides. Or like trying to put a cloud inside a box but as soon as you do, it dissipates.


Because these things, these mindsets, ideals, symbols, images, they’re not finite entities that you can hold onto. Waves are not concrete. They rise and they fall and they are never completely still. And emotions are the same.


You will never feel exactly the way you do in this moment because nothing will ever be exactly the same as it is right now. You can repeat the same routine, wear the same clothes, eat the same food, but every single day it will be different. You will be different. Because the ocean that resides within you never rests.


With each breath you change. You rise. You fall. You crash and you begin again. And that’s the beauty of it all. You have your high tides and your lows but no matter what you are never stagnant. You move through emotions and you move through mindsets and even when it feels like you’re going backwards you’re not. Because you are moving and you are shifting and you are breathing, and all of this is growth.


The ocean moves up and down and it sways side to side, but all of the time it is still the same thing. The same atoms, the same particles, in different forms yes, but it is still the same ocean. And in the same way, you move through different emotions, evolve through different mindsets, take on different guises, but you are still the same you.


So there is no point trying to grasp on to things in order to assure yourself that you are the same Being persisting through time. The ocean does not try to crash in the same patterns to remind us of its presence. No matter how you are feeling, no matter the size of the waves, of the emotions, at your core you will always be you. And you do not need to reach for this because it will always be there. You are these waves.

By em

a sometimes poet, sometimes painter, always philosopher


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