The following free association was made to me by a patient in analysis. "I remember my parents being at the top of a Y-shaped stair and I was there at the bottom . . . and . . That was all; no further associations; finish. I waited, and during this time I, as usual, had plenty of free associations of my own (which I keep to myself because I am supposed to be the analyst). It occurred to me that this was very like a verbal description of a visual image, simply a Y-shape. The thing that struck me straight away about a statement that was so brief, so succinct, and stopped short at that point, was that it must have a lot of meaning that was not visible to me. What did in fact become visible to me I could describe by writing 'Y'. Then it occurred to me that it would be more comprehensible if it was spelled, 'why-shaped stare'. The only trouble was that I could not see how I could say this to the patient in a way which would have any meaning, nor could I produce any evidence whatsoever for it—excepting that this was the kind of image that it called up in my mind. So I said nothing. After a while the patient went on, and I started producing what seemed to me to be fairly plausible psycho-analytic interpretations.