Look closer! The Great Wave curls against the setting or rising sun (depending on your coast 😉 creating the Yin Yang symbol. The entire design is made out of tiny, positive affirmations. There is a bit of the sky in the ocean and ocean in the sky with all of the tiny, positive words binding each together; just like you and me!
Our interpretation of Katsushika Hokusai’s woodblock print, “The Great Wave off Kanagawa”, captures the frenetic curl of the iconic wave. We no longer see the boats full of huddled sailors clinging to their oars at the mercy of the tumultuous seas. Rather, the wave stands stark exposing the golden spiral.
“The Great Wave off Kanagawa” is the first of 36 woodblock prints Hokusai completed in the 1830’s at the age of 70 by the name of “Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji”. He started playing with waves in his art nearly 40 years earlier! How can we hone our own areas of interest into masterful works?
This famous wave painting captivates the minds of just about everyone that encounters it making Hokusai one of Japan’s most famous artists. There were 35 other views of Mt Fuji in this series alone by Hokusai, let alone the rest of his landscape oriented, wave including works, and let alone all of the other paintings of waves from any time and anywhere! And yet if you google wave painting right now you will find “The Great Wave off Kanagawa” as THE result. The why to this phenomenon is inevitably tied to the same things that unifies all great art: incredible talent focused through art that stirs a powerful internal response in its experiencers. Stare into the “Great Wave off Kanagawa” and see what stirs in you!
The Chinese yin yang symbol represents how opposites are also often complimentary and bound together. For example, the classic notion that there is a little bit of good within the bad and bad within the good. No one is all one thing. the biggest jerks have people that love them and the biggest heroes have people that hate them. People are multidimensional. When we are mindful of this truth we can look at people and situations in fuller context. Looking at things as multi-dimensional, like they really are, allows us the opportunity for more freedom.
Consider the duality of living as a human being. We have our physical experience through our five senses. And then we also have our internal experience through our thoughts and emotions. Two seemingly complete opposites but both equally real and worthy of attempting to understand how they work together.
Which affirmations jump out at you today? Each time you look into the art you will see different ones. They are all true about you! You have been them all before and will be them all again. Donning the right attitude in the right moment is like a skeleton key to unlock any door in front of you!. So, whichever positive truths you read when you look closer into the art, consider them to be like your super power for the day.
The positive words making up the entire Yin Yang Great Wave follow a pattern going from “I am” to “You are” to “We are” affirmations. This is a pattern we all experience over and over again. When we take on something new we begin focused on how we are doing it ourselves. Then we look around and see how others are doing it. Then after much growth and practice, oscillating back and forth between focusing inwards and outwards, we eventually turn the activity into an art and flow in oneness with everyone.
Check out which shirts we are carrying now with our Great Wave Yin Yang design screen printed on:
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