The shadow’s the thing.
If I no longer see shadows as “dark marks,”
as do the newly sighted,
then I see them as making some sort of sense of the light.
They give the light distance;
they put it in its place.
They inform my eyes of my location here, here O Israel,
here in the world’s flawed sculpture,
here in the flickering shade of the nothingness
between me and the light.
~Annie Dillard from Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
Be comforted; the world is very old,
And generations pass, as they have passed,
A troop of shadows moving with the sun;
Thousands of times has the old tale been told;
The world belongs to those who come the last,
They will find hope and strength as we have done.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow “A Shadow”
A shadow is hard to seize by the throat and dash to the ground.
~Victor Hugo from Les Miserables
We are dealing and dueling with shadows,
our flawed imperfect darkness
rather than one another.
We write things on a screen that we would never
say to another’s face.
We assume motives, predict behavior, ponder reactions
but all is smoke and mirrors.
Such is the cost of feeling fear and distrust.
As the sun moves and time passes,
the shadows shift and play with the Light
from a different angle,
so shall we shift and pray.
Rather than holding the Light at a distance
while trying to wrestle shadows to the ground,
we’ll embrace it and make sense of it,
yearning for the illuminating hugs
we’ve been denied for so long.