Unlocking Locks

Picking Rusty Locks

There’s something intriguing about old rusty locks. This one is from somewhere in the old town of Tarifa in Cádiz, Andalusia, Spain. Shot last summer.

The symbolism is perhaps obvious, but I am nonetheless fascinated by what locks represent as a metaphor. I’m also curious about what’s actually behind the door, gate or wherever a lock is used. What’s in there?

Though I’ve never attempted to pick a lock, I have always considered myself someone that can find, or, at least try real hard, to reach a solution that bypasses a seemingly impenetrable situation. Finding a solution or, a workaround, so that whatever needs to get done gets done, is an intricate part of my purpose, process and my life. I don’t necessarily think of it consciously, but I do tend to see most projects in some kind of linear timeline. You start picking the lock and eventually figure out a way to get that sucker open.

In creativity, as opposed to say, mechanical engineering where solving problems is binary, you aren’t always sure that you’ve actually picked the lock, opened the door or solved the problem.

The unsureness factor can at times be overwhelming and undermine rational thought and logic. And it can definitely screw up the timeline.

Yet the very idea of picking a new lock, solving a problem, new and old, or creating something entirely new is so addictive, that you just deal with the uncertainty and try your best to calculate it within the process. Which is why it can at times be difficult to motivate (and invoice) that once you’ve created something, you do need to let it rest, simmer, marinate, for a while, after which you return and see if it holds up and is worth its salt. If you’ve really, really picked the lock.