Ocean Conversation with



The conversation takes place on the first floor of L.’s house, in the praktijk (i.e. office) of L's mother, a psychotherapist for children and adolescents. The space is very beautiful, light, and actually consists of two adjacent rooms, connected through a large arch. The space is full of toys, children’s books, musical instruments and drawings. We sit on a small desk in the second room, in the right corner of the space, surrounded by windows on both sides.


L’s voice is young and full of enthusiasm. It’s also soft and gentle. Her mother tongue is Dutch but she speaks fluent English with an almost perfect American accent.

M.M. What’s your relationship with the ocean?

L.J. Until now, I’ve spent my whole life near the sea or near water.

I was born in Norway. The first year of my life we lived in Fyresdal → which is next to a huge lake in the middle of the forest. So I’ve (almost) lived my whole life in Ostend – except of this first year.

I really like the ocean. The first five years of my life → I didn’t really like the ocean, I was more into the forest. But now I like the ocean more.

And something happens to me every time I am close to water. I see it and feel drawn to it. I walk to it and enter it and start walking through the water. Inside the water my creativity explodes. I start making up a story in my head. Mostly I’m speaking it to myself while I’m making it. I am imagining this story in the moment. It’s like meditating I guess. I walk through the water and I feel the water flowing between my legs – and its like I’m in a trance.

I start improvising a story that goes on and on and on until someone takes me out of the water.

M.M. Can you also get out of it yourself? Or does someone have to come and take you out of the water?

L.J. This state usually lasts quite long so until now it was always someone else that had to take me out of the water. When I’m in this trance, I really enjoy it. I feel very comfortable and peaceful.

If there are rocks, it’s great cause the water is flowing with force and I like to climb over the rocks and stuff. On and on I walk through the water. With the water up to my knees.

M.M. How do stories appear?

L.J. Don’t know. It’s like a being in a trance. It just flows like the water. And I keep making it + making it. Then I gradually forget it.

M.M. So it’s a bit like a dream?

L.J. Yes. When I’m in the water there are really a lot of details to the story. When I go out I only just remember the storyline and then after some days, I forget everything.

M.M. So the stories appear when you’re in contact with the water mostly?

L.J. When I’m in the water, they are more intense + way longer. When I’m out of the water, stories also sometimes come but then my concentration fades (quickly or more quickly) and I start doing other things.

M.M. What are the stories about?

L.J. They can be anything really. Usually stories are related to things I think about a lot.

M.M. Like Harry Potter stuff, for example?

L.J. Yes, I would be in the same wizarding world but I would be doing other things.

M.M. Did the stories appear when you were on the boat?

L.J. On the boats I concentrated on what was happening around me, also because there were people around. I mostly get the stories when I’m by myself and in the water up to the knees. Cold water, preferably.

M.M. Is there an element of the ocean that you like the most?

L.J. I like that it’s wild and free and so beautiful. It takes the place that it needs. It’s very powerful. I think of the ocean as a very powerful + strong woman. I have great respect for her. She’s amazing. She’s full of life. She’s Untamable (→ that includes all of it.) I would like to be like her:

Always changing
while she’s just being herself.
I think of her as both very playful + strong and in her element.