Waves of One Ocean

Reef Reef Beach Seascape

Doubt is not something I think of as sinful or wrong in a thoughtfully faithful person. I know that sounds contradictory but I’ve always felt that there was a necessary duality in so many aspects of life, science and belief which we need for definition. How are you to know well being if you’ve never been sick or the beauty of light without the darkness? I’ve always had the idea that we humans are incapable of appreciating  the joys around us if there were no sorrows; or light if not for shadow.  Understanding requires knowledge of both experiences. Otherwise it’s just academic. I know in the aftermath of a bad headache that ‘normal’ is practically euphoric  and how wouId I know that if not for pain? While these are lessons we may not seek out on a physical or psychological level, they are given to us nevertheless!

But, there was a time when I felt doubt was a sign of weakness or being imperfect and was something to struggle against. Why not blind faith after all?  Isn’t that the definition..belief in that which is unproven or unexperienced? After awhile though, I came think of doubt as a form of questioning , not unbelief and that in many ways faith stands upon the shoulders of its inquiry.  Doubt is a lot like wonder which leads us from an inkling of something beyond ourselves to a more resolved endpoint. Who planted the question, who crafted the inkling?

Some years ago,  I had long discussions about such matters with a friend who is of the Bahai faith. That religion has a very lyrical phrase in its literature which says “we are waves of one ocean, leaves of one tree.” While it may allude more to the shared experience or oneness of humankind, I saw in those waves of one ocean, the equal and opposite waveforms of crest and trough, light and dark, doubt  and faith. I felt the compelling and restless rhythm of the ocean, its rise and fall, its light and shadow! So on a particular stormy day around that time, I sat and wrote down a few thoughts about faith and doubt with the idea of forming them into a rhyming poem of some sort. While the wind gusted outside and lightning strobed the movements of wildly tossed tree limbs  into snapshots of abandon,  I felt gripped by gathering forces of something coming unseen and from far away.

Waves of One Ocean


Winds of doubt gust across a vast sea of darkness.
Swells accumulate, combining to keep a soul in its grip.


Secretly, stealthily out of the mists of time,
comes confrontation with the Unknowable.


Ancient inklings of awareness beyond, await recognition.
Creation seeks its Creator.


Under the restless face of the sea, forces move,
gathering to disturb the dark.


Inexorably waves mount, crashing and crushing
the very soul of doubt upon its own dark shore.


Erasing even its traces with each urgent, liquid swirl.
Creating in those traceless sands a pristine canvas for faith.


Winds of faith gust across a vast sea of light.
Swells accumulate, combining to keep a soul in its grip.


Judy Lovell 8/9/03

And so that is the back story behind the poem  which never got beyond the thought stage into the rhyming stage but simply remained as it was on that stormy afternoon. The images below (and the one above) are of exactly the same beach, waves of the same ocean, with the dual gloom of a gathering powerful storm and a brilliantly hued rainbow!!

Reef Reef Beach - Rising Storm Columns

Red Reef Rainbow Seascape

Hope you might enjoy life in all its various moods and states of being!!


~ by Judy on April 20, 2013.

9 Responses to “Waves of One Ocean”

  1. I love your poem and your thoughtfulness, Judy. It reminds me of words of wisdom I read recently by the spiritual teacher Osho: “Watch the waves in the ocean. The higher the wave goes, the deeper is the wake that follows it. One moment you are the wave, another moment you are the hollow wake that follows. Enjoy both — don’t get addicted to one. Don’t say: ‘I would always like to be on the peak.’ It is not possible. It is simply not in the nature of things. Then what to do? Enjoy the peak while it lasts and then enjoy the valley when it comes. What is wrong with the valley? What is wrong with being low? It is a relaxation. A peak is an excitement, and nobody can exist continuously in an excitement.”

    • It is truly not the nature of things to stay at one point or the other but rather to balance on the wire in between. It might seem a strange thing to link into the discussion but the thought that we are not made to stay in a state of continuous excitement reminds of me how insidious cocaine is. Cocaine stimulates the production of dopamine which has powerful effect on our pleasure center. It also takes up the spaces meant for reuptake cells to mop up excess dopamine and in doing so causes dopamine to flood the synapses which will destroy the very cells which produce dopamine. So the continual high state is seductive and destructive. We aren’t meant for that on any level.

  2. Such a beautiful post…. and a wonderful, gentle reminder to us all. LOVE these pictures, too.

    • OH I am glad you enjoyed the words and the pictures! I love seascapes and dramatic storms!! We have so many types natural scenes here in Florida..cypress and mangrove and salt marshes and seascapes….well maybe we are a bit challenged on the issue of cliffs!! I do love cliffs!!

  3. Judy, new computer. old one died totally. I did want to say that I enjoyed the thoughts you expressed regarding Faith.

    Your pictures are, as usual wonderful.


    • I am so glad that you are back online and sincerely appreciate that you were able to read the post and moreover enjoyed it! Some conversations just become part of the fabric of your thinking and I thank you for that.

  4. After a remarkably busy and tiring week at work, I’m able to give your post the time and attention it deserves.

    I absolutely agree with you that faith and doubt are not polar opposites, but ends on a continuum. The only thing I might add is that I no longer think of faith as only an adherence to a set of beliefs – the old business of believing a hundred impossible things before breakfast. It has more to do with a stance toward life, a firm conviction of the sort expressed by Julian of Norwich when she said, “All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.”

    Looking up the exact wording of that quotation, I found another I’d never read and which certainly applies: “He said not ‘Thou shalt not be tempested, thou shalt not be travailed, thou shalt not be dis-eased’; but he said, ‘Thou shalt not be overcome.”

    The image of the crest and trough you use reminds me of one of the “basic life choices” I list on my About page: “Either/or”, or “Both/and”. I’m firmly a both/and kind of person, and it looks like you are, too. 😉

    And the photos are beautiful.

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