Bad Signs

Kasia Derwinska

Kasia Derwinska

No words left to say

There is nothing obvious in this picture which suggests anything of solid predictive value, it's a snapshot of where things are at in an instant. And at face value, it all looks pretty hopeless.

I've long-since been suspicious of umbrellas. I don't mean suspicious in the superstitious sense, just suspicious of the symbolism. In their own way, they're deceiving; they offer scant protection against a hard storm and are really only good for light showers without any wind. Umbrellas are a common object in art and their overall symbolic meaning represents a level of protection; as to whether that protection is adequate or insufficient, we need to look at it in context within the bigger picture. The discarded red umbrella in this picture could offer ample protection against the rain; although his feet would still get wet. Those puddles on the floor indicate this is a situation which has been producing emotion for some time. Maybe he doesn't need the umbrella where he's thinking of going? Maybe he needs to feel the rain on his skin? He clearly used it before stepping foot in that phone box; what was said for him to stop caring about his own well-being? 

The telephone box - who was the one who had no words left to say? Was he told this by the voice on the other end of the line or did he himself say those words? That part of the story is not made clear by this image. Clearly, the phone box itself is symbolic of communication although in this case, we have solid indicators that the words, unlike the rain, dried up. That being said, the door is left open.

Rain doesn't have to be a bad thing but the angle of this downpour coupled with the man's bowing head doesn't imply summer dancing in the rain. He's stood on the edge of what looks like a sheer drop, so not in a good place. A single bird flies above, is this another ominous sign? In an earlier post, I spoke of Odin's pair of ravens, Huginn and Muninn, who are representative of thought and mind. If this bird is a raven, and it's difficult to tell, it could be symbolic of a thought he has not yet had, and it may well pertain to something from the soul level. There may be nothing left to say on the physical level, but the bird is about to communicate something which may help to lighten the thoughts currently weighing on this man's mind. There is nowhere to go but down with the direction he's facing. That bird might even be loud enough for him to stop staring over the edge and look up instead.

Umbrellas, phone boxes, and birds will often appear in images which are significant in mythic relationships. I mean those ones where you feel compelled to be involved in. The ones which contain a small amount of obsession and longing. The ones which seem to be steeped in coincidence and synchronicity. They're also the ones which can often lead to heartache, despair, or a feeling of ruin. Obviously, this won't always be the case, and the weather will be the best indicator of the basic conditions of the situation. In this instance, things look pretty dire, but the line of communication has not been severed. Despite the apparent impression of hopelessness, stepping over the edge is not his only option. There's protection available from the elements...he can hide in the phone box til the rain passes, or he can pick up the umbrella and be on his not-so-merry way. He just needs to listen to what that bird has to say.

Art by Kasia Derwinska, you can check out more of her work by following the links.