Thursday, December 11, 2008

Whisky and Ice


What's the shot? A strange crystal image which reminds me of the Crystalline Entity in Star Trek. This was taken at the Laphroaig whisky distillery in the beautiful and remote island of Islay. My late Uncle Hugh came from Islay and he liked a dram - so he would have approved of my shot. The ice is lying on the top of a whisky barrel. Here of course there are no prizes for symbolic meaning. Whisky is the water of life - uisge beatha - in all likelihood derived from the Latin "aqua vitae". Water is made from ice, the materia prima. So here we have water transformed into both whisky and into ice - two destinies. We know for certain that in this barrel, the water can only get better! On top, the water has lost its essential quality of liquidity. Yet it is growing. For some theorists, ice represents rigidity. But here, water continues to transform. So I don't necessarily agree with psychologists and poets that ice in dreams signifies death or endings. These crystals have a milkiness that suggests the maternal.