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The Shadows

shadows 2.png
I’m a mandala in your eye
a sunflower dancing
on black scrying mirror
where the sun and moon are lovers


I’ve always felt that the world of reflections was more interesting than the literal world, in the same way that physical reality seems to be the watered down version of my imagination. Since I was a little girl, I’ve been fascinated with shadows (particularly those made by the moon, which is really sunlight, reflected). I would gaze at mirror images of trees and clouds in a still pond and wonder which world was real. Why is it that we consider physical matter to be more real than shadows, reflections, or dreams?

It’s no wonder that taking shadow shots is my favorite way to capture self-portraits. In this one, my husband is included. It was taken at St. Augustine Beach in Florida during one of our winter camp-on-the-beach trips. I was reading “The Complete Fairy Tales” by George McDonald at the time. McDonald wrote for the psyche in contrast to Victorian superficiality in the 1800s. He was a peer of Lewis Carroll and an inspiration to C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. Below is an excerpt from a McDonald fairy tale called “The Shadows.” The shadows of men, and women, and their children - as opposed to those of “chairs and tables, and pokers and tongs” - are confronting the king, whom they have been stalking. Keep in mind that fairytales, like myths, are lies that tell the truth:

“Sire, began the Shadow, “our very existence is in danger. The various sorts of artificial light, both in houses and in men, women, and children, threaten to end our being. The use and the disposition of gaslights, especially high in the centres, blind the eyes by which alone we can be perceived. We are all but banished from towns. We are driven into villages and lonely houses, chiefly of farm-houses, out of which, even our friends the fairies are fast disappearing. We therefore petition our king, by the power of his art, to restore us to our rights in the house itself, and in the hearts of the inhabitants.”

“But,” said the king, “you frighten the children.”

“Very seldom, your majesty; and then only for their good…” the Shadow answered.

Henry Havelock Ellis says: “Dreams are real as long as they last, can we say anymore about life?”

Comments

Good Morning....I wonder if we will see any shadows today?? Great Picture xo

That's quite a beautiful quote by Henry Havelock Ellis. Thanks for enriching my day.

Mike

I like that photo; may try some of those myself. It is an interesting concept - that the shadow world may be as real as the "real" world. Sounds like an alternate reality/Stephen Hawking/Oversoul Seven/Black Hole kind of idea,

I like that shadows are bigger than life in a lot of cases...so are dreams if you think about it. I just did and it's all thanks to you. I like that you make me remember ;0)

Having a shadow means you are never alone! :)

Came through via Michele.

What wonderful playful picture. I do like your blog and congrats on being in the news about and Michele said hi.

Lovely photo, and lovely quote from HHE - so true. Michele sent me. Have a lovely weekend.

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