An Awakening in National Harbor, Maryland

After catching a gorgeous sunset on the Potomac at National Harbor, Maryland, I took a walk to the marina admiring the yachts and the lights of the nearby Woodrow Wilson Bridge. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed what appeared to be a large hand. Slightly startled, I turned to face it directly.

What Did I See in National Harbor?

The Awakening, National Harbor

The Awakening, National Harbor

The Awakening (1980), a sculpture created by J. Seward Johnson, Jr. depicts a giant bearded man breaking through the sandy beach. In 2008, the sculpture was installed at National Harbor, just a few miles south of Washington D.C.

The feeling I got was a sense of the man’s desperation to escape the confines of the earth, limb by limb. Seeing the sculpture at night in such a small area seemed to intensify that sense of urgency.

The Awakening, National Harbor

The Awakening, National Harbor

Of course, some might just see it as an amusing piece of work. What do you think?

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25 thoughts on “An Awakening in National Harbor, Maryland

  1. Mary @ The World Is A Book

    How cool! It’s wonderful how the sculpture is able to convey so much with just 5 parts and left it open to so many interpretations. I like your interpretation, Cathy! I think seeing it at night adds that eerie feeling. We will need to look for this when we make it back east.

  2. jenny@atasteoftravel

    Interesting sculpture! I like your interpretation. I find the position of the chairs interesting as well….suggests that you can come and watch him escape!

  3. Sabrina

    How creepy – and very cool! I would be so freaked out if I walked into the sculpture one night without knowing it’s there. Now that I know it’s there I want to pass by though 🙂

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