The Shape of Dreams

Yes, dreams tell stories, but those stories don’t always remain in dreams. Sometimes, they leave clues behind in broad daylight to reveal something of our unconscious preoccupations. This happened recently, in stages, as I struggled to understand why three keys on a ring, fallen by accident from my hand, formed a shape so arresting that I had to revisit the image over and over before beginning to understand.

The starting point of this search was a photograph of an expressway support column standing alone, awaiting demolition. There was enough drama in that image to warrant highlighting its portrayal as a symbol of urban carnage.

Expressway support column slated for demolition.
Blood on the Road


Then came the keys…

Dreams are like stories assembled from a puzzle’s missing pieces,
Mismatched shapes form an image, a cubist painting
of people in improbable situations, in surreal landscapes,
Actors auditioning for roles in improvised scenarios.

Three keys on a ring.

Not all dreams occur in sleep. Some visit on tiptoe in the afternoon,
leaving signs in their wake. Keys that I dropped on the floor
spoke of a dream in the shape of a cross.
A symbol of fear unknown to my thoughts.

Three keys on a ring.It’s not often I’m offered to capture a dream,
by pointing a lens at a remnant left behind.
In that vital moment before fading to grey
I seized its value though not its name.

Three keys on a ring.The meaning emerged as I searched for a sign
Beyond symbols of power, of learning or freedom.
In a shape so bloody, so callous and dark
A burden that I bear without consciously knowing

Three keys on a ring.A cross on the highway, or splayed on the floor
It’s resonant shape to be eternally mirrored
The question arises what manoeuvres can quell
This aching scaffold of guilt.

Industrial Designer and Educator with a passion for photography.

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