The expression to see the elephant has several related meanings, which have to do with the idea of an elephant as a remarkable thing that one could see, or to see or experience all that one can endure; to see enough. This may come from the idea that once you have seen an elephant, no other sight could be as interesting. The major sense of the phrase is 'to gain worldly experience; learn a lesson; lose one's innocence; see remarkable sights'. An additional meaning refers to seeing combat, especially for the first time; to confront sudden death.
This long- winded introduction is for this bust I did in a class with Vic Hood. Vic encouraged us that our carvings should tell a story, to invoke a feeling in the viewer. As I carved this salty old sailor, I was reminded of my time in the Navy, of sights and sounds and places far away. Of lessons learned and of elephants seen. Thanks for looking!