• Keith Prossick and Stephanie Kohler

Feature - The Great Wave

Welcome to Breaking the Mandala, which examines the aesthetics, insights, and greater context of a series of paintings by Keith Prossick. We humans awaken not just through what we read, but what we see and explore beyond words.

You can view the painting, and read commentary from the artist. The commentary is specifically drawn from the artist, as a way to show the process and background to the work.

There is no “correct” way to do this. You can read first; you can look first. You can do one or the other, though certainly we recommend both. This month’s art is The Great Wave.

Last month I found solace in Pagoda, where the world settled back in balance. But the funny thing about sanctuary is that the universe that was when I entered was not the universe to which I returned. Or at least that is how it seemed. Yes, I was back on solid ground, but the world was still spiraling from its primal core, as I began to find a new way forward. The good thing is that I knew where I wanted to go—the avatar had shown me.

Through the healing in Pagoda, I was granted the lesson of new languages, which started opening pathways through the dualities that trapped me before. To see through the symmetry of the patterns that entrance and captivate us. It was here, in this moment, that my language began to evolve. Old memories fell away as a new dream came into play.

Onward, I drew myself forward into this new piece—this new composition of myself, one that aligned with the patterns that fell on the canvas, The Great Wave. If there is something familiar about this image, it’s because you’ve probably seen the art which inspired it. Unlike the previous paintings in this series, this painting is a study, of The Great Wave off Kanagawa, a woodblock print created by Hokusai, circa 1833.

Using Hokusai’s recognizable composition, I painted the current of cosmic forces flowing through all the elements—water, waves, sun, sky, mountains. We tend to think of water as having currents, but this painting shows the cosmic currents that pass through multiple elements. They are all connected; they all dance with each other.

Everything flows in these currents. The water, through waves, lifts up towards the sky. Mountains cut through this path, releasing the water, allowing it to roll as a river, back into the sea. We know the ocean has waves, but so does the sun—in this painting, the waves of the sun cut a wake through time, as our solar system spins through the galaxy.

One of the most distinctive, memorable details in Hokusai’s print is the foam on the waves. It is quite sinister, having the appearance of claws or talons. Gigantic ocean waves can be devastating, as tsunamis and hurricanes prove. Metaphorically, gigantic ocean waves in our personal lives can render us terrified or emotionally broken.

But I chose to render the wave crests as spirals—another part of the current flowing, in a double-helix dance. These spirals also flow from the sun; they meld into the spirals of the waves.

Waves can be sinister, but their tension still carries this current—which is the true, cosmic connection between the earth and what is beyond it. Regardless of the destruction that waves may cause, life must continue. Within the destruction is the current of life.

That can take the form of helping those who suffer the destruction of great waves, whether the waves are real or metaphorical. As individuals, sometimes we have to maintain our struggle to continue in the aftermath of great waves.

Everything is energy; everything is connected. Currents in the ocean are connected to celestial currents in space. These patterns upon patterns echo reflections of existence, in a sort of cyclone of reality.

I let all the currents and energy take me away. The quickest way home was to surrender. I knew that I have lived through this cycle and process before, again and again. I have passed through sanctuary many times and found myself here at the beginning of a new pattern, gaining confidence each time, getting it a little bit better, each time. After the healing, after the sanctuary, I was ready to face the world again.

All these currents, leading me through an Akashic Wormhole, connect us to our most profound and timeless wisdom as humans. This time I was thinking, let’s go deeper.

Then, I washed up on the stacks of a Great Library.


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