Whether in words or pictures, nothing is more powerful than a somatic or bodily metaphor. What makes the photos of the Chilean mine rescue so visceral, so primal is how much the vehicle of the rescue capsule evokes the passage and emergence of life through the birth canal.
And then, like a duet, the scene below from AP at the tent just outside the mine shows the sister and niece of the first miner “to be pulled out.”
(CAPTIONS — image 1: An image taken from a video released by the Mining Ministry shows rescuers testing a capsule before attempting the rescue of the 33 miners trapped at the San Jose mine on October 11, 2010. AFP/Getty Images. image 2: caption: A frame grab from a video camera operating inside the collapsed mine shows a miner being hoisted out of the San Jose mine in Copiapo, October 13, 2010. (REUTERS/Government of Chile) image 3: In this photo released by the Chilean government, Chile’s President Sebastian Pinera, third from right, watches a descent test of the empty capsule into the rescue hole at the San Jose mine near Copiapo on Oct. 12, 2010. (AP Photo/Hugo Infante, Chilean government). image 4: In this photo released by the Chilean presidential press office, Chile’s President Sebastian Pinera, center right in red jacket, waves to rescue worker Manuel Gonzalez Paves as he is lowered into the mine in the capsule to begin the rescue of 33 trapped miners at the San Jose Mine near Copiapo, Chile, Tuesday Oct. 12, 2010. The first of 33 trapped miners is expected to be lifted to the surface late Tuesday after surviving more than two months below ground. (AP Photo/Alex Ibanez, Chilean presidential press office). image 5: In this photo released by the Chilean government, Chile’s Health Minister Jaime Manalich, left, looks at the rescue capsule that will be used to rescue the 33 trapped miners one by one from the collapsed San Jose mine in Copiapo, Chile, Tuesday Oct. 12, 2010. The first of 33 trapped miners is expected to be lifted to the surface late Tuesday after surviving more than two months below ground. (AP Photo/Hugo Infante, Chilean government). image 6: Violeta Avalos, right, sister of miners Florencio and Renan Avalos, plays with her daughters Martina, left, and Florencia, hours before the start of the rescue operations at her tent outside the San Jose mine near Copiapo, Chile, Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2010. The miners became trapped when the gold and copper mine collapsed on Aug. 5. According to Avalos’ relatives, Florencio Avalos will be the first miner to be pulled out. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)