Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Shredder's Psyche

It was a cold and wet lunchtime today - and the sky was a rather depressing, even grey. There wasn't much light really so I set the camera to 1600 ASA and hoped for the best. I was rewarded in Baggot Street when spotted two sacks of office paper lying in a hallway. I had taken two correctly exposed but uninspiring photos when the shredding man appeared. He interviewed me about my photographs and then suggested I take a photograph of him taking the bags away. Here's the result. I guess the sacks contain the bits of work that would be insecure to merely throw away or recycle. But once shredded, could they be put together? In psychotherapy, there is a real sense of fragmentation for some clients. "I feel as if I've been shredded, I'm in bits today." would be common enough. In dreams, fragmentation can be represented by being torn to pieces by a lion or in the case of one client "I split into many pieces and ran off in all directions". Some Jungians believe that this fragmentation may be necessary as clients invest different parts of the libido in splinters of personality for some kind of safekeeping. Dionysus was dismembered and Osiris too. Prometheus had his liver repeatedly torn out. This fragmentation is the psyche's way of relinquishing a fixed identity so that wholeness can be achieved. So thank you Mr Shred-it for stimulating this observation and I hope your day went well.