Shadows

September 24, 2015

“The long shadows that follow you mark only the passage of time. These are not haunts come to find you, not your enemies stalking you, not the judgment sent to collect its due. These shadows that seem always to be at your heels are only the effect of the light as it passes through its season, as it shines all around you but cannot reach that sliver of the past that you yourself are blocking. These shadows are nothing but the intersection of time and light. If you were not there, there would be no shadow at all; and if there were no time, the light would not have an angle, a position, it would be everywhere all at once. And so, form and time combine to make us feel haunted, and that which seems ever behind us, ever obscured as we struggle towards the sun—that seems to us a burden and a danger, a way the past clings to us, even a past we can but so dimly recall. It is the nature of these things that they are dim and half-hidden, but it needn’t be the case that they are frightening. You cannot face your shadow head-on like a confrontation, like a battle; it cannot be won that way. You must allow yourself to feel that there is a darkness, an uncertainty at your back, and you must will that vulnerable, blind side of you open to allow the darkness its entrance. You cannot fortify yourself against that which is only a projection of yourself; you must let it come into you so there is not so much difference anymore between the lit world that you set your eyes on and the shadow behind you that you never see. And you may notice, when you stop steeling yourself against your own shadow, that the light is, in fact, everywhere, that the apparency of light-less-ness is just like the apparency of time itself—an illusion that creates other illusions when it is believed. We are not really haunted except by our own projections which, when cast in time and space, seem very dangerous indeed. But, in truth, we are only light ourselves, and when light itself makes a shadow, the shadow must be lit as well.”

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