Under the Sea

The image shows a piece of artwork by Jina Wallwork. It is a digital painting of a person beneath the sea with fish. Stylistically this piece of artwork has links with expressionism.

Under the Sea by Jina Wallwork


I glide through life when love enters my heart. Everything feels like a dance until that love is rejected. Love becomes heavy. My movements become restricted by the weight that I carry. I struggle to breathe in an ocean of my own tears. When I look up, I can see the light scattering in patterns on the water’s surface, yet I can’t swim toward it. I’m chained to this weight, and there is no release. The fish are beautiful as they swim around me, and I crave some company. If I reach out and hold them close, we will be trapped by the chains that bind me. Could I ever fool myself into believing that my tears are the perfect waters to swim through? I could pretend this chain doesn’t exist, and perhaps my companion could find happiness within my lies. Love could be something that is imagined. She will never experience love beyond the fantasy that she writes for herself. People can see the world however they choose to, and they will find happiness within those beliefs.

         Through arrogance and a feeling of superiority, I could presume that I can provide a circumstance that would make someone happy. The appearance of love might be enough. There would be days when deceit would seem like an act of kindness, and the truth would seem brutal, although I know that the combination of both causes the real damage. The truth would scream at my companion as I manipulated the situation with further lies. I could convince myself that all relationships are like this, and love is merely a word. It is something that makes people smile when it’s needed.

          Can I convince another person that an imaginary love is real? Will I convince myself that my behavior is acceptable because love is just fiction? Will I believe that love is just fantasy? I fear that future, and I’m terrified of who I might become.

          I’ve experienced these types of relationships where you swim towards someone chained to the bottom of the ocean. They hold you close while looking into the distance. I swore I would never engage in such cruelty, but now I understand that it is just a conflicting vision of what love is. Those relationships always pushed me to believe that love means nothing. I would watch her struggling with her chains as she battled with her despair. I would see cruel and damaging behaviors, yet now I can see her perspective. She needed to convince herself that love isn’t real. Say it out loud and spread the negativity because it helps reaffirm an artificial truth. She wanted to be loved, so she would need people who believe in love, but then without thinking, she would shape them to share her beliefs. It is a poisonous perspective that strips life of magic, although her cruelty wasn’t intentional. She was chained to the bottom of the ocean and was struggling to make her situation easier.

         I can’t adopt the same behaviors. I can see myself in all of those swimmers who float around me. I know the relationship that would await them, and it isn’t enough. We all deserve more. I need to believe in love, and I want to watch the fish swim towards love. I watch them dancing next to the patterns of light that look so beautiful. When I see an act of love, I’m reminded that life contains miracles. This is something that brightens my day and brings me comfort. I have a strong relationship with myself and a rich inner world. I can’t sacrifice those things to bitterness and jealousy. I feel sorrow, but it isn’t the only thing present. There is light.

C1 Art Composition

Time and the Universe book cover by Jina Wallwork

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