In stories, if a character is looking out to sea they’re frequently experiencing epiphany. In art, too, there’s no shortage of characters gazing out to sea. The guy giving the sermon below clearly understands the epiphanic power of the ocean, especially in combination with the higher altitude of a clifftop.
These days we are technologically connected to each other, but there was a time when saying goodbye to a loved one sailing off on a ship was a separation akin to death. That was the case for my own emigrant ancestors, who sailed to New Zealand in the mid 1800s. They never returned to England, Scotland and Ireland. Nor did their children or their children’s children.
Sometimes in art, a male character looks out to sea.
These old fellows gaze out to sea because they share a special interest in ships.
For young boys, the sea promises adventure.
But the image of the pretty young woman gazing out across the ocean is ubiquitous. I suspect this is a fantasy designed to buoy the spirits of sailors. It’s nice to think that life stands still for you on shore. The fantasy is no doubt enjoyed by young women, too, because an absent lover allows for the erotics of abstinence.
The nubile young woman near the sea is all tied up with folklore of mermaids and sirens.
Sirens can be pretty evil (until they are imaginatively eroticised) but there are plenty of other fantasy creatures which threaten to pop out of the sea.
I suspect this woman is thinking hard about fish for dinner.
I’m a little concerned about this woman’s intentions.
What is Raggedy Ann telling Andy? Without reading the book I’ll never guess, as their smiles are sewn on.
The space ship is the sci-fi equivalent of the ship, so of course we have similar images of women looking for men who have gone away on exciting adventures.