“I like my shadow; it reminds me that I exist.” ― Mehmet Murat Ildan
Light and shadow. Shadow and light. I think subconsciously I have always known that I have a fascination with shadows. However, when I was trying to think of what to write on day 19 and was scrolling through some photos from trips home to help out with dad, I found a common theme in many of my photos. There is something about the shadow of a person that often attracts me more than the person itself. It’s a solid view of them, yet so different. It’s like them with no chance of argument. Sort of like viewing folks through a glass.
“How can I be substantial if I do not cast a shadow? I must have a dark side also If I am to be whole.”
Reflections and shadow stalking started as a mental break for me. Sort of like looking at clouds and trying to see what shape they were.. a cat.. a dog.. a castle.. etc. Like I know who is in the shadow, just like i know who is behind the glass. But if you were not there and didn’t know, then you just might never know. Like a mystery or a puzzle that needed to be sorted out.
“I thought the most beautiful thing in the world must be shadow.”
Who are those magnificent beasts? Could it be me? But who else? So interesting right? I mean to me.. these are my thoughts. Yeah, as previously noted, I’m a bit nutty. But seriously. Who are those characters. One looks super strong and the other sort of pinched up, but is that real? I wonder. Well, what do you know!! Here they are again.
“Pulvis et umbra sumus. (We are but dust and shadow.)”
I really do love shadows. They can expand the emotions you already feel. They can cause fear.. what is it lurking in the closet.. in the hallway.. in my mind…!!!! They can create abstract art and viewed from so many different angles to see so many different things. Similar to a person and yet so much deeper.
“What would your good do if evil didn’t exist, and what would the earth look like if all the shadows disappeared?”
We use shadows to judge shape and size.. but that can be deceiving and surprising as well. Light and shadow exist together.. like the shadow is tied to the light and the light almost always casts a shadow. Even so, shadows have so many different meanings in our society and throughout the world. They carry implications such as death, soul, knowledge, life, and mystery. Light is light. Simply put, just light. I love light and prefer the light to the dark.. but that does not diminish my love of shadows.
“The brightest flame casts the darkest shadow.”
One thing I love about shadows is that they imply the presence of light. Seems obvious but a shadow without light is just the dark. When it’s dark I like to sleep. When there are shadows I like to find the light. I also like to see how small or big I can make my shadow. It’s super fun with kids in the classroom as well. I remember both of my kids, at about the age of 2, tried to get rid of their shadow. I remember it being funny. Screaming like mad and running from their own shadow. I could not convince them that that was them. They were the shadow. It was a CONCEPT. Luckily they grew out of that.
“Some people seemed to get all sunshine, and some all shadow…”
“Come back. Even as a shadow, even as a dream.”
“One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. The latter procedure, however, is disagreeable and therefore not popular.”
“Every man carries with him through life a mirror, as unique and impossible to get rid of as his shadow.”
“No matter how far you travel, you can never get away from yourself. It’s like your shadow. It follows you everywhere. -Komura”
The eye is always caught by light, but shadows have more to say.
“Maybe the only thing each of us can see is our own shadow.
Carl Jung called this his shadow work. He said we never see others. Instead we see only aspects of ourselves that fall over them. Shadows. Projections. Our associations.
The same way old painters would sit in a tiny dark room and trace the image of what stood outside a tiny window, in the bright sunlight.
The camera obscura.
Not the exact image, but everything reversed or upside down.”
Well, well, well.. here they are. Out of the shadows and into the light. Light and shadow. Shadow and light. That’s all we really are…. or is it?