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Shadows


Find beauty not only in the thing itself but in the pattern of the shadows, the light and dark which that thing provides. ~Junichiro Tanizaki

They are ever present, always at our side, always following us, our constant companion, creeping along, silent, mesmerizing, mimicking, mocking, ebbing, flowing, lengthening, shrinking, hiding. They are there in the dark, the half light, the full light, requiring only a sliver of light seeping through the slenderest crack to be birthed. We are routinely unaware of their presence until we catch a glimpse of their fluent grace out of the corner of our eye when our attention is focused elsewhere, when it is focused anywhere but upon them. It is only in the light that they enjoy the freedom of dance. Is it only in the light that they cavort with our every movement, our slightest twitch, when they caress other shadows, when they brush against people hurrying about their business on a hot summer day, when they kiss the child playing hopscotch on crooked boxes scratched hastily into the cracked, concrete sidewalk.

I oft wonder what the shadow is thinking, if shadows smell the flowers bursting with perfume as the petals lean into the tangerine rays of morning light, if the noon day glare causes shadows to cringe in the shimmering heat waves of summer, if the shadow feels the warm rays of an evening sun setting behind the long armed trees, if shadows fear the night because they can no longer feel the person to whom they are attached when light fades and can no longer chase away the enveloping darkness, if shadows feel lonely when we cannot see them, if they feel ignored though they parrot our every move crying look at me and still we fail to acknowledge their existence, if they are jealous at the kaleidoscopic of colors the world displays yet are forced to dress in gray.

I oft wonder if the shadow is content to live on the periphery of our lives, if it longs to be free of our bodies or if it longs to be break the bonds of the sun, if the shadow would be happier unshackled, unfettered allowed to roam to it’s heart’s content.

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