Thursday, December 10, 2009

St Peter's Eye

There were many people taking pictures in St Peter's Square. You can just make out an image of St Peter's here in the camera monitor, but it showed too little detail for me to improve it. The camera of course approximates to the symbolism of the eye, and a single eye to boot. I am reminded that mythology features a number of creatures with a single eye, not all of them pleasant. I always feel that the camera is slightly predatory so maybe it's a kind of Cyclop since the one-eyed monster in Odysseus is of a rather foul disposition. James Joyce's Ulysses utilises the Cyclops (Episode 12) to present a character, the narrator, who has a very singular viewpoint (the "I"). In this case, that viewpoint is narrow and indeed bigoted. Often, we need a two-eyed point of view. In psychotherapy it is sometimes necessary to consider what is being excluded from the client's script and so perhaps that is a convincing reason for two people to work together on an issue. But the camera is uncompromising in what it excludes from the eye of the person behind the viewfinder. And the longer the lens the more singular and uncompromising is the point of view. So psychotherapy requires a whole bag of lenses - wide-angle, standard, telephoto - and we need to be able to shift focus on this or that part of the whole image. If you dream about looking through a camera viewfinder, you might like to consider what kind of lens is used and its length. Is there good depth of field or is something very particular in focus? It could alert you to an issue at hand.