Coinneach Shanks: A Psychotherapist in Dublin, Ireland
Saturday, October 3, 2015
Of Bikes and Roads and Dreams
I noticed the bike when I was giving a new camera a test run. My last compact suffered a fall and probably it was time for a change. A test demands a wide range of shots and this scene offered distance and geometry. Most of all, it was a low light day. My immediate thought was of the owner's decision to secure the bike here. It's in a pedestrian island and hardly unobtrusive. Perhaps the owner was hiding it in the light. I hardly dare to speak of symbolism and bicycles. Sometimes clients would dream about being on a bike and of course they had looked it up. "Under my own steam," they would say proudly. I would mentally flinch - because like "the road less taken," the phrase is much overused. "On yer bike!" is one phrase that I like, although it's an impolite expression for "go away." And of course, because one rides a bike, it also has a sexual reference which I'll briefly explain by example. In my youth, a well meaning teacher, eternally doomed to explain sex to teenagers, told the class that no-one could get an STD from riding a Raleigh bicycle. We giggled politely and guffawed mightily later. So "I dreamed I was riding an old bike," isn't necessarily an expression of freedom and balance. In dream analysis it's always best to explore every connotation of the dream symbol. By way of an ending I would ask the client what kind of road they were riding in the dream - smooth, rough, rutted? Was the going tough? Was it less taken?