Coinneach Shanks: A Psychotherapist in Dublin, Ireland
Thursday, January 17, 2013
It's all in the bag
This is a window at Brown Thomas, Dublin's prestigious department store. I liked the colours and the solitary bag. I used a fish eye filter on the camera and the result was pleasing. The bag itself is perhaps the current icon of conspicuous consumption and isn't our subject here - it's the symbolism of the bag that is most interesting. The bag is much used in sayings and it's all about containers. The cat is out the bag means something kept under wraps is now revealed - the game is up. The other that I like is about beating the badger out of the bag. The badger is for some reason held to be lazy, suspicious and solitary. In the Welsh story of Mabinogion, Pwyll's rival in love is beaten by his followers with staves in order to extract his bad qualities - they beat the badger out of him. This has something in common with the notion of carrying "baggage" that we have to get rid of. It's quite usually pejorative isn't it? The old bag, bags under the eyes. Only very occasionally is a worthwhile objective "in the bag". I'm not sure we can get rid of baggage entirely. But psychotherapy is a useful way of dumping or even parking whole sets of luggage. It's more important to acknowledge what the bag contains and put things in order. The psyche has many little pockets for tucking things away and sometimes it's a good idea to have a sort-out.