Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Polizei On the Canals

I took my camera to the Grand Canal in Dublin without much hope of finding something different. I have taken many photos there and I despaired of finding anything new. But how wrong I was. The German Police barge was unusual enough for me to take a few photographs. I never did find the reason for the boat being there. It stayed for a few weeks and then disappeared. Perhaps it was purchased as government surplus in Germany and brought here to be refitted. Someone will let me know, I'm sure. Symbolically, anything to do with police is a sign of authority and if you dream of police it's often about the father or at least a father figure. I never heard anyone recount seeing a policewoman in a dream. It's almost always a policeman. A boat on the other hand is rather clearer to understand! It's the symbol of voyaging and this boat has made a considerable voyage. But the voyaging is often about the underworld, where a boat carries dead passengers on their final trip. Occasionally the boat was dragged along a canal bank by a long rope in the shape of a serpent - and that would seem appropriate for our picture. French philosopher, Gaston Bachelard compares the boat with a coffin, bearing the soul to its rebirth. It has to be birth in that case where clearly death cannot be a last voyage. If we regard life as a kind of voyage, the boat can be a sign of security. This barge is very much a secure container and necessarily womb-like inside. So in the picture, the boat is mother to the police father.