The rise and fall of the waters parallel the rise of life and its subsequent decent into death. It's a river that can be rapids or eerily calm amidst the endless hordes of lost souls who wait on its shores for the ferryman to guide them across it's murky depths . . . so long as they have their fare.
In Greek mythology, Charon or Kharon is the name of the ferryman of Hades who carries souls of the newly deceased across the river Styx and Acheron that divided the world of the living from the world of the dead.
When coming up with this illustration I decided that instead of the ferryman maneuvering a boat, what if he was the boat. Why not have the boat as an extension of his lower half and the lantern an extension of his lower jaw. I also thought that maybe I should make the boat bigger so that more than one person can traverse the waters at one time. But then I realized that this is a voyage on the way to Hades, and what could be more torturous than standing and waiting in line for an eternity!