On Wednesday we spoke about droughts in the American West, Floods in the United Kingdom, and about the whole issue of global warming. Today we are hunkering down in front of the fire as New England is once again walloped with a snow storm. It’s really getting pretty repetitive and boring. While weather is forefront in my mind, I promised myself that I would not post yet another snow picture.
OK so how about this. The picture is from January 28 by Ueslei Marcelino of Reuters and takes us inside the Cuncas II tunnel near the Brazillian city of Mauriti in the
Ceara state, Brazil. The $6.8 billion tunnel, if it is ever finished, is meant to link canals that will divert water from the Sao Francisco river to agricultural land in four
drought-plagued states. The project is, like all such projects three years behind schedule and already at double cost.
The picture to me is amazing. The man gives size perspective – man and what man creates. And of course, we are haunted by the knowledge that a lot of such projects have unforeseen ecological consequences. The reflections create an other worldliness. Tunnel imagery in mythology and its ultimate connection with birth we have already discussed. Hey, I’m not making this stuff up. There’s a reason that tunnels are so haunting. Here what seems most important are the allusions to classical mythology that describe journeys in tunnels (where the protagonist swallows a hard gulp of innate claustrophobia and ventures forth, Yes, to be reborn!): to Dante, to Beowulf, to Alice in Wonderland, and even to the Hobbit.