This is totally open to individual interpretation, and individuals will surely bring their own experiences and understandings into the mix-and-stir. That only makes sense. But, should debate and argument ensue? You wouldn’t think so, right? I’ve seen it happen, though!
Take a look at this art piece and carefully form your own interpretation before reading mine. I read dozens that were nothing at ALL like mine, and that’s the fun of it. I also think that something can be gleaned about the interpreter from his or her perspective. Sort of along the lines of a psychiatrist’s inkblot test, no?
Here’s what I see. I see a brave and smart woman that would rather let go and trust in her own ability to unlock her own shackle and potentially save them both rather than gamble on this man’s ability and morals and desire to unlock his shackle and then jump in and save her life.
She knows why he’s holding on to her….she holds the key, afterall. It behooves him to hold on to her. Worst case scenario, he’s stuck either way, whether she goes down and fails, or if they stay in a position of limbo eternally. His situation is the same either way, and he lives on. And, of course, if she is successful, he not only lives, but he is also set free.
She, on the other hand, is holding onto him for what? No good reason as far as I can tell. She holds the key/solution to both their problems, and it requires no trust in anything but herself and her own abilities. If she’s successful, they both survive and are both free. If she fails, only he survives.
His trust of her is irrelevelant since he is stuck to that tree, regardless. He could argue with her that he’s the better choice to save them both, but she’s the only one looking Death in the face, so it should be her decision, and I see her making the better one and letting go.
In order for her to give him the key, she would need to have trust in him that he will dive in, swim to the bottom, unlock her shackle, take her back up to shore and clear the water from her lungs! Instead of all that, she chooses to go with what she knows of herself, rather than what she can only guess at about him, especially since she’s the one that could DIE either way.
It may be “proper protocol” for her to give him the key and play out the whole damsel-in-distress and “Myyyyyy-Heeerooooo!!!” thing, but ego and misogyny be damned in a my-life-or-death situation. I mean, isn’t that Survival 101, Lesson I?….Save yourself first so that you can save another?
[sidebar]: I have been REPEATEDLY-OMG seeing “tree of life” references All.Over.The.Place.com!!! I hope that this post was the reason for all of it, so that I can be FREED, because I’m starting to be more than a little freaked out. If this purge inadventently passes the “cooties” onto you, I’m so (not really) sorry. 🙂
I have no idea whom the artist is, nor the title of the artwork.