Oct 16 2011: Automatic Drawing of an Imaginary Landscape (Absentminded Phone Pad Doodle, c.2003)

A couple of weeks ago I scanned in an odd diary page featuring a drawing, possibly by a GP, and wondered whether it revealed anything about the unconscious of the person who made it, possibly absent-mindedly, during a long phone call or meeting with a patient. The other day, I happened to find this page tucked away inside the notepad that’s kept beside the phone, and vaguely recall making it (or, more to the point, remember it being absentmindedly made) in precisely the circumstances I’d speculated about for the GP’s diary page, sometime in 2003 (somethingI only know because the doodle is on a page next to one containing the details of someone to call about an interview – which was published in the summer of 2003). What this image might say about my own unconscious I shudder to think: a sort of apocalyptic seascape with a phallic bone-like form protruding from the ground or waves. But then, once you start thinking about what Freud would have made of it, the inevitable suggestiveness emerges very quickly: it just happens that the other night a cloud formation, looking exactly in one part like Sigmund Freud’s profile, was seen in the night sky, positioned as though Freud’s lips were touching a bright toffee-coloured moon: I’m not sure what he’d have made of that observation, either.


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