Back to the Elements
The Impossible Machine
Water implicates the womb, blood
(sea water is salty, too), and the
flow of time and change.

The philosopher Heraclitus
famously stated that life is like a
river, since it is ever-changing.

The motif appears in Taoist
literature as well.

The character Everyman was
depicted as adrift in the sea,
reflecting humanity's trials and
tribulations through any life.

Odysseus' journey occurs only
through traversal of the Aegean,
his trials and setbacks reflecting
the whims of the gods.

Water is symbolic of life, and the
unchanging in life, also the unity
of life: one person to another,
beginnings with endings,
endings with new beginnings.

Turbulence, clarity, immersion,
and movement are qualities of