Wednesday, November 23, 2011
There are quite a few small streets that go via a tunnel under the Lower Baggot Street tenements. If you want to see a bit of Dublin that has a mixture of old and new, then take one of these tunnel trips and explore a block or two. It's probably not your typical tourist area and it's none the worse for that. If I want a different kind of image, I explore these areas and this usually proves rewarding. A tunnel is a symbol of course, and one that has much to do with the underworld. Tunnels always lead from the light into darkness and then into light again. They offer some kind of obscurity and maybe that's why some people feel impelled to cover their walls with graffiti. And what tunnel worth its salt wouldn't be gloomy? If you encounter a tunnel in a dream I rather doubt that it will be brightly lit. They are usually dark and anguished, indicating anything from hardship to a frustrated desire. So we move to the most famous of tunnels, the exit into life through a tunnel from the mother's womb. Babies must struggle into existence along this constricted passageway. We all go through such a tunnel and it's the initiation rite par excellence. As well as life, tunnels bring death, souls and even the sun can be coaxed along some underground channels. I'm not claiming anything so special for my Baggot Street tunnel, but this I can say. When I stopped to take the photograph, several tourists also stopped to watch. Some of them changed course and walked through the tunnel and into a hidden neighbourhood they would otherwise have missed.