SHADOW AND LIGHT SOURCE BOTH
How does part of the world leave you?
How does wetness leave the world?
Don’t try to put out fire by throwing on
more fire! Don’t wash a wound with blood.
No matter how fast you run, your shadow
keeps up. Sometimes it’s in front!
Only full overhead sun diminishes your shadow.
But that shadow has been serving you.
What hurts blesses you. Darkness is
your candle. Your boundaries are your quest.
I could explain this, but it will break the
glass cover on your heart, and there’s no
You must have shadow and light source both.
Listen, and lay your head under the tree of awe.
When from that tree feathers and wings sprout on you,
be quieter than a dove. Don’t even open you mouth for
even a coo.
I have often felt frustrated when trying to take a photo with the sun shining behind me and getting my shadow in the frame. I laugh now because it is such a beautiful metaphor for running from my shadow. I spent many years storing the things I didn’t like about myself, and the things I feared (my shadow self) hidden away in the basement of my mind. With age comes wisdom and I now know the truth of what Joseph Campbell (my hero) says, The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.
If you bring forth what is within you, what you
bring forth will save you. If you do not bring
forth what is within you, what you do not
bring forth will destroy you.
I think it’s also important to bring forth all the creativity and talent that lays dormant inside ourselves. It can be just as scary to shine the light on our brilliance as it is to shine the light on our shadow. I leave you with another tidbit of wisdom, this time from the Danish philosopher and theologian Kirkegaard: The most common form of despair is not being who you are.