Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Under Pressure?

The old railway works in the centre of Turin have been retained as a museum and this is one of the remaining features. Constructed in 1885, the Officine Grandi Riparazioni makes quite nice use of an old building for exhibition and museum space. But for me, the real interest lies in the factory's fabric rather than what's on display. This water tower is quite imposing although there's nothing grand or sacred about its humble purpose. It could be straight from an old western, complete with creaking. I wondered if the symbolism of towers actually held, when the tower in question is intended for something so mundane as maintaining water pressure. It may well be that there's a closer symbolic fit with with a waterfall rather than a tower. In practice, it's the pressure in the downward motion of the water that is the point. Yet strictly speaking, the water still comes down from the direction of the heavens, whereas the ladder reminds us of ascension. It’s another of these combinations of opposites. When in operation, the tower features both up and down movement. And there's water and metal, yin and yang. It's only a device to increase pressure which is surely a good thing for a water supply. But when we feel under pressure, we're seldom talking of anything good. Many people come to psychotherapy because they "can't take the pressure any more." Many are worked too hard and in some occupations, burn-out is accepted as an inevitable consequence of the job. If you feel that pressure in your life is out of control, it's a good idea to check out what help is available. The pages at my web site should help.