Friday, May 22, 2009


I took some liberties with the original image here. You might be able to make out that these are corks from wine bottles - in fact, from one of these displays in a restaurant where a container is completely filled with all the old, used corks. In symbolism, corks are like bottles in that they are metonymic - it's what was corked that matters, not the cork itself. Yet there is connection there in terms of the sealed container. Something - the quality of the wine perhaps - is preserved. And it's no good sending a message in a bottle without the cork in place. The cork seals the container and preserves the message intact. If air has got to the wine and it becomes oxidised, we refer to the wine as being "corked". Nothing to do withe cork, except it didn't make a proper seal. Corks are often kept after a special occasion. The cork from the champagne bottle that helped launch a ship is often inscribed and retained. If we put a cork on information we try to stop it leaking and that is often referred to in group psychotherapy. The discussions are usually privy to group members and so if discussions occur outside the group, it's regarded as "leaky".