The Thing with Shadows

I love looking at shadows, which is interesting because I was afraid of them as a child. Now I have an endless fascination with shadows. It’s like their hiding secrets somehow, things not quite visible to the eye, not quite.

They are illusionary. There is this instant connection to the unknown, mysterious – great for ones’ imagination.

For that reason shadows have always been great subject matter for both photographers and writers.

And shadows can be beautiful to look at, depending on the casting.

But I also find that Shadows are filled with meaning.

Take this shadow here for example it casts a silhouette of the person standing there and that shadow is not going anywhere.

It will stay exactly where it is, attached to the person. A shadow by its very nature cannot let go.

But when the person turns away from the shadow and faces the light … it’s gone.

I think life is a little like that, the shadows in life that cling that we can’t seem to make go away. Remember that a shadow in and of itself does not know how to let go.

It is the change in direction that makes the difference. As it is in nature, so it is in life.

Everyone have a happy Sun-day, one with no shadows. ♥

51 thoughts on “The Thing with Shadows

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  4. Probably the best shadow I’ve seen is from a Mountain top. We climbed through the night to make summit by day break. The sun, coming over the horizon, cast the mountain’s shadow for many miles. It receded as we came down, but of course, we knew it was growing on the other side of the mountain as the sun moved across the sky. It was humbling, to see we were small parts of a world that’s ever changing.

  5. This is wonderful, Penny. We love playing with our shadows as children so I don’t know why we forget about them when we grow up!

    Your post reminded me to enjoy my shadow again 🙂

    • For the last few years I’ve spent every day with little ones. Being near them has brought out much of the child in me – a good thing. I’m glad this gave you some happy memories. 🙂

  6. Like you – fascinated by shadows Penny. Your post is thought-provoking — just turn to the light and the shadow fades….so true. I studied the ‘shadow’ as it is discussed more as metaphor in Jungian psychoanalytic theory, and that shadow is symbolic of the darker parts of each of us that we have suppressed but surface in times of stress or strife. It is interesting that the Jungian theory says to embrace/shake hands with our ‘shadows’ of this nature, and that this will disempower them. I kind of like your idea though — just look to the light 🙂 Of course my physical pain shadow is a whole other story… can’t seem to loose that one for anything… rough day/weekend here so that is why I’m so late at reading my blog follows… but much enjoyed this dear one ~ Love, R

    • I’m familiar with that theory and the use of shadow metaphors, I think it just proves my point that you just can’t quite get your hands around it so it becomes this elusive interesting unknown. I’m going to send you positive thoughts i.e. wave vibrations, I do this with my family now and again, thoughts emit electronic wave impulses, I don’t know if those I do this with feel better because they think it will help, so it does or because it works. Who knows, anyway I thought I’d give it a try. Just be receptive in your thinking tonight is all. No I’m not certifiable honest. This started when I was fairly young, people around me felt better, who knew! Hugs to you Robyn, stay strong and brave. You’re one of the good ones! 🙂 and so special to both Christina and myself!

  7. I had somewhat similar feeling about my shadow when I was a child. I loved watching my shadow get stretched out as big as possible, and just daydreaming about beating up the school bully…lol

    • I was always trying to catch mine, the shadow (not a bully – it’s funny I was shy but I was never afraid of bullies go figure that one) Anyway I really did go thru the thought that if I was quick enough…:)

      • I love the “what-ifs” 🙂
        By the way, I was laughing on my bully comment because I did find enough courage to throw a chair at the bully and run like hell…lol

        • Hey way to go. I pushed a girl into a locker because she was picking on a friend in high school, I had never done anything like that in my life but my girl friend was so small and gentle that this bully girl made me mad, I just reacted. Good thing the teachers showed up. She was getting ready to kick my a….:)

  8. As a kid I used to try to step on my shadow, which of course never worked. There was something about the shadow following me that was bothersome. I wanted to follow it instead. As an adult, I take shadows for granted. Thank you for making me think about them again. 🙂

  9. One of many things I love about your writing Penny is that you take me to places and thoughts I have not been to since childhood or that I have never dwelled upon. What can I say, you inspire me!

    • Why thank you LuAnn. I write what I feel. I think every day in life there are learning lessons. Also wonderful things to recall from our childhood. I enjoy sharing them. Thank you for your generous praise, have a great Sunday, Enjoy the wonderful Oregon weather! 🙂

    • I’m betting every person on the planet played with her or his shadow as a child. I think the interest begins then. For us with large imaginations I find the fascination just continues, don’t you? Thanks definitely a happy Sun-day to you right back! 🙂

    • Thank you, I write as things come to mind. I was outside with my animals early in the morning and I noticed the shadows. This came to mind. Thanks, Have a sunny day today! 🙂

    • Thank you. Thats the thing isn’t it Mondrak, no question about it. Lifes shadows seem to be amazingly sticky. Hope you are having a good one today. Happy sunny thoughts to you my friend! 🙂

  10. I love the poems of Robert L Stevenson. Does anybody read him anymore? lol
    He wrote a poem called MY SHADOW. I had to memorize it when I was in the 3rd grade. I can still say that poem.

    He has other poems in A Child’s Garden of Verses that are just wonderful.

    Without light and shadow our world would be rather dull looking.

    • He wrote such beautiful pieces didn’t he. I hope people will always pass on thoughts, like you are, of these wonderful writers of the past so that they don’t become lost. I agree with you meme, his poetry is wonderful. Yes so true, without light and shadow our world would be dull indeed. Hope your having a sunny Sunday! 🙂

  11. Love it! I am fascinated by clouds feeling there is something just beyond. But shadows are fun to play with as you said move and its gone. We once had a tree just outside our window that when the moon shone on it, it looked like a snake was hanging this was reflected onto the light weight drape. we tried during the day to find it to trim it off and that tree branch just looked totally different in the light. scared me!

    • I agree and what a interesting memory you have of shadows. My favorite scene from Disneys Peter Pan is the scene with his shadow having a life of its own. I think many children spend time playing with their shadows. Sorry for the scary memory, though I do like your thoughts about clouds and whats just beyond, 🙂

    • Oh that’s so cool, I actually downloaded the audio to my kindle of one of the original (classic) radio episodes of The Shadow just so I could hear the commentator say those words and hear the great background sounds. Also one of my earliest memories (I think I was minus 20 or 30 myself :))

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