Day 19 ~ Shadows

“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.”
― C.G. Jung

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.”
― Sylvia Plath

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.)”
― Horace

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.

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“What would your good do if evil didn’t exist, and what would the earth look like if all the shadows disappeared?”
― Mikhail Bulgakov

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.”
― George R.R. Martin

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…”
― Louisa May Alcott

“Come back. Even as a shadow, even as a dream.”
― Euripides

“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.”
― C.G. Jung

“Every man carries with him through life a mirror, as unique and impossible to get rid of as his shadow.”
― W.H. Auden

“No matter how far you travel, you can never get away from yourself. It’s like your shadow. It follows you everywhere. -Komura”
― Haruki Murakami

The eye is always caught by light, but shadows have more to say.

― Gregory Maguire

“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.”
― Chuck Palahniuk

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?

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Easy to catch a silhouette

Shadow is the obstruction of light. Shadows appear to me to be of supreme importance in perspective, because, without them opaque and solid bodies will be ill defined; that which is contained within their outlines and their boundaries themselves will be ill-understood unless they are shown against a background of a different tone from themselves.

Leonardo da Vinci


“Actually, I do happen to resemble a hallucination. Kindly note my silhouette in the moonlight.” The cat climbed into the shaft of moonlight and wanted to keep talking but was asked to be quiet. “Very well, I shall be silent,” he replied, “I shall be a silent hallucination.”
― Mikhail BulgakovThe Master and Margarita

Fishing silhouette in Curacao

Fishing silhouette in Curacao

Statute in Peru with bird on head.

Statute in Peru with bird on head.

This week, experiment with light and capture a silhouette.

More shadow shots

  1. Wake up your luck
  2. BmyShot
  3. In a Snap
  4. Etcetera Etcetera
  5. Ron Mayhew’s Blog
  6. My Aberdeen Garden
  7. My own Champion
  8. Follow Your nose
  9. Allison’s adventures in Wanderland
  10. Shoot N Go

Casting Shadows

Shadows on the wall, are they real?

“We cast a shadow on something wherever we stand, and it is no good moving from place to place to save things; because the shadow always follows. Choose a place where you won’t do harm – yes, choose a place where you won’t do very much harm, and stand in it for all you are worth, facing the sunshine.”

― E.M. ForsterA Room with a View

During my two days on the couch re-couping from who knows what, I had ample opportunity to peruse the blogosphere and came upon some really great stories, pictures, advice and new ideas from so many great places.

Shadows at play

Shadows kicking it around

One great idea from a great blog came from RUTH E HENDRICKS PHOTOGRAPHY who posted a photo of grandmother and granddaughter in shadow.  I find shadows intriguing.  I know there is a simple explanation:

shadows3rd person singular present, plural of shad·ow

A dark area or shape produced by a body coming between rays of light and a surface.
Envelop in shadow; cast a shadow over.

Inanimate Shadows

It is true that shadows appear when any form of light approaches from any direction.  They are created or cast to the ground from people or solid objects.  They can be simple or complex depending on the type of light and object that they are representing.  Shadows play an important role in how we see the world. They give depth and breadth to the objects in our life as well as to our lives generally speaking.  They contribute to life and realism, tension in movies are developed by shadows.    Realistic and distorted perceptions of the world are realized through shadows.

Tree shadows

Shadows are more complex then we give them credit for, you will know that if you have ever taught a lesson on Shadows in your life, tried to make a dog bark or an eagle fly through hand-shadows.  Shadows are fascinating.  People in general are fascinated by shadows and most people have their own interpretation or definition of what a shadow is and what they might imply.

Shadow words

The bottom line is in my opinion, everyone and everything casts a shadow.  There are very few moments when you will not cast a shadow. I believe it is important to spend time thinking about the life that you are living and what kind of shadow you are casting.

Shadows in cellars

Our shadow is with us wherever we go.  They don’t affect us as much as they affect others, we don’t even know the half of who is being affected by them most of the time.

What kind of shadow are you casting?

Now in all honesty, I am not a religious person by any means.  I have my beliefs and my beliefs include the idea that we leave a footprint, a shadow of our presence wherever we go and whatever we do.  For that reason I really love the following story and what it implies.  Enjoy.

The Shadows We Cast

J. R. Miller

“For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself.” Romans 14:7

Every one of us casts a shadow. There hangs about us, a sort of a strange, indefinable something, which we call personal influence—that has its effect on every other life on which it falls. It goes with us wherever we go. It is not something we can have when we want to have it, and then lay aside when we will, as we lay aside a garment. It is something that always pours out from our lives, as light from a lamp, as heat from flame, as perfume from a flower.

The ministry of personal influence is something very wonderful. Without being conscious of it, we are always impressing others by this strange power that exudes from us. Others watch us—and their thinking and actions are modified by our influence. Many a life has been started on a career of beauty and blessing—by the influence of a noble act. The disciples saw their Master praying, and were so impressed by His earnestness or by the radiance they saw on His face as He communed with His Father, that when He joined them again—they asked Him to teach them how to pray. Every sincere person is continually impressed by the glimpses he has of loveliness, of holiness, or of nobleness in others. One kind deed often inspires others to act in a kinder way.

Here is a story from a newspaper which illustrates this. A little newsboy entered a subway train, and dropping into a seat was soon asleep. At the next stop two young ladies came in and took seats opposite to him. The child’s feet were bare, his clothes were ragged, and his face was pinched and drawn, showing marks of hunger and suffering. The young ladies noticed him, and seeing that his cheek rested against the hard window-sill, one of them arose and quietly raising his head, slipped her folded scarf under it for a pillow.

The kind act was observed, and now mark its influence. An old gentleman in the next seat, without a word, held out a quarter to the young lady, nodding toward the boy. After a moment’s hesitation she took it, and as she did so, another man handed her a dime, a woman across the aisle held out some pennies and almost before the young woman realized what she was doing, she was taking a collection, everyone in the car passing her something for the poor boy. Thus from the young woman’s one gentle little act—there had gone out a wave of influence touching the hearts of almost forty people, and leading each of them to do something.

Common life is full of just such illustrations of the influence of kind deeds. Every godly life leaves a twofold ministry in this world: that of the things it does directly to bless others; and that of the silent influence it exerts, through which others are made better, or inspired to do like good things.

Influence is something, too, which even death does not end. When earthly life closes, a godly man’s work ceases. He is missed in the places where his familiar presence has brought blessings. No more are his words heard by those who have many times been cheered or comforted by them. No more do his benefactions find their way to homes of need where so often they have brought relief. No more does his loving friendship minister strength or hope or courage to hearts that have learned to love him. The death of a godly man in the midst of his usefulness, cuts off a blessed ministry of helpfulness in the circle in which he has lived. But his influence continues!

The influence which our dead have over us—is frequently very great. We think we have lost them—when we see their faces no more, nor hear their voices, nor receive the accustomed kindness at their hands. But in many cases, there is no doubt that what our loved ones do for us after they are gone—is quite as important as what they could have done for us had they stayed with us. The memory of beautiful lives is a blessing, softened and made more rich and impressive, by the sorrow which their departure caused. The influence of such sacred memories is in a certain sense, more tender than that of life itself. Death transfigures our loved one, as it were, sweeping away thefaults and blemishes of the mortal life—and leaving us an abiding vision in which all that was beautiful and pureand gentle and true in him, remains to us.

We often lose friends in the competitions and strife of earthly life, whom we would have kept forever had death taken them away in the earlier days, when love was strong. Often is it true, “He lives to us—who dies; but he is lost—who lives.” Thus even death does not quench the influence of a godly life. It continues to bless others—long after the life has passed from earth.

Therefore, we need to guard our influence with most conscientious care. It is a crime to carry contagion to men’s homes. It is a worse crime to send out a printed page bearing words infected with the virus of moral death. The men who prepare and publish the vile literature which today goes everywhere polluting and defiling innocent lives, will have a dreadful account to render when they stand at God’s bar to meet their influence. If we would make our lives worthy of God and a blessing to the world—we must see to it that nothing we do shall influence others to do evil in the slightest degree.

In the early days of American art, there went from the States to London, a young artist of genius and of a pure heart. He was poor—but had an inspiration for a holy life, as well as fine painting. Among his pictures was one that in itself was pure, but that by a sensuous mind might possibly be interpreted in an evil way. A lover of art saw this picture and purchased it. But when it was gone the young artist began to think of its possible damaging influence, and his conscience troubled him. He went to the buyer and said: “I have come to buy back my picture.” The purchaser could not understand him. “Didn’t I pay you enough for it? Do you want more money?” he asked. “I am poor,” replied the artist, “but my art is my life. Its mission must be holy. The influence of that picture may possibly be harmful. I cannot be happy with it before the eyes of the world. It must be withdrawn.”

We should keep watch over our words and deeds—not only in their intent and purpose—but also in their possible influence over others. There may be liberties which in us lead to no danger—but which to others with a less stable character, and less helpful environment, would be full of peril. It is part of our duty to think of these weaker onesand of the influence of our example upon them. We may not do anything in our spiritual strength and liberty, which might possibly harm others. We must be willing to sacrifice our liberty—if by its exercise, we endanger another’s soul. This is the teaching of Paul in the words: “It is a noble thing not to eat meat, or drink wine, or do anything that makes your brother stumble” (Romans 14:21). “Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall” (1 Cor. 8:13).

How can we make sure, that our influence shall be only a blessing? There is no way—but by making our lives pure and holy. Just in the measure that we are filled with the Spirit of God, and have the love of Christ in us—shall our influence be holy and a blessing to the world. “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity.” Ephesians 5:15-16