The Waves—The Sea
by Jun Morinaga
One May I headed with my camera to a beach in Chiba, a little east of Tokyo. I settled myself on the edge of the breakwater and sat for a long while gazing at a spot on the waves as they rolled to and fro, in lulling rhythm. This is all some thirty years ago now.
The sun’s heat and the pleasant rocking of the waves soon inspired the small hallucination that the water had frozen still. I was tempted to step out onto itーa dangerous impulse. As long as I kept my eyes moving, I could see that the water was indeed in motion. But once I fixed my sight at a single point on the placid waves all repeating the same rhythm, they came to a halt. It struck me then that nowhere else but on the waves of the sea did reality and illusion intermingle quite so dramatically, like the dreams that spark inside our brains.
From that time I became fascinated with gazing at the sea, with focusing on just one point on the ever-changing face of the waves. It was not dynamic billows with their mighty whitecaps and crests far higher than a person that captured my lasting interest, but wavelets with their melded ripples and undulations, their complex movements that seemed to draw the viewer in. These waves moreover revealed a delicate, different beauty every day. So it was that I began to photograph ocean waves, something I still do now more than three decades later.
When I have been looking upon the waves for a long time, their motion seems to merge with my sense of the cosmos, until I can no longer tell where I am or whether I am facing up or down. It is as though I have become a tiny particle of water spinning around and around in the sea. At moments like this I am overtaken by a sense of true, abject terror.
If body and soul are what generate the energy inside the life form known as human beings, then wind and water are the main sources of the same for the waves of the sea. When the wind sets the water in motion, it gives birth to more than a mere mass of shifting liquid. As I have been brought to realize keenly time and again, what emerges is a being just as full of life as any human—no, in truth, one with a presence far beyond our own.
( Translated by Chikako Imoto )
Jun Morinaga is a photographer based in Tokyo, Japan.
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