Coinneach Shanks: A Psychotherapist in Dublin, Ireland
Monday, March 5, 2012
Under the Killiney Rainbow
I find it quite difficult to capture rainbows well. This one presented itself quickly and I had a long lens - so this was the result. They never say stay where you want them, because rainbows are a matter of optics and standpoint. It depends where you are and I was happy enough with where I was. It was one of these days when you could see the rain falling on other parts of the coast and the light was quite delicious. Of course, the rainbow is a symbol of some stature. The leprechaun's crock of gold is quite elusive because the rainbow's end is never available to the onlooker. But the "end of the rainbow" myth is not that old and seems to have originated in medieval times. It's is a jolly myth though, and good fun because rainbows are ambivalent symbols in many cultures and can as much a portent of doom as good fortune. For many, they are a disturbance in the harmony of nature and signify the approach of some dire happening. Death, disease and all manner of sickness and pestilence can follow the advent of a rainbow. The Sandaman Negrito hold that a when a python serpent bathes, it tips perilous water from the bath, poisoning humans below. The Inca thought that rainbows were death worms that demanded human hearts to eat. So they should be hunted and killed. In the process of the rainbow's killing, birds would bathe their feathers in the blood and so acquired their colourful plumage. And in some parts of Asia, rainbows were thought to drink the waters of lakes and could carry people into the clouds as they drank. Me? I think I'll stick with the leprechauns.