Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Down in Limbo Land

I've done tunnels before and probably I'll do them again. This kind of shot, taken from the front of a metro train, I find difficult, so I keep returning to try again. The train has to be moving but that means camera shake, so I brace the camera against the front window and release the shutter a moment after the train leaves the station. You do need an automatic metro system for this, otherwise the driver is in the way - and somehow the rear of the train is slightly different. Once when I was using this metro, there was an minor earthquake and the train slowed down to a snail's pace - it was very unsettling indeed. For a while I felt as if I was in Limbo until the all-clear came. The concept of Limbo is an in-between place. It's part of the Orphic tradition, and describes where souls of still-born babies waited at the entrance to the Underworld. (Later this idea was adopted by Christians, but it remains the subject of much theological argument. Unborn babies are born with original sin but no way of dealing with it but to remain in Limbo.) Yet this is a tunnel and tunnels are what dreams are made of. Tunnels inhabit a ghostly space where anguished passageways promise a fulfilment of desire. When we use the tunnel, we move from light into the Limbo of darkness and back to light. If you dream of  being in a tunnel, it could be about transition. And maybe psychoanalysis is like a tunnel - a passageway from one state of being to another.