Saturday, January 16, 2016

Becoming a Shadow

My bed is the place a shadow lies

We all have times in our lives when we feel as if we are becoming a shadow. We are still alive, but moving through our lives without notice or impression or sensation, because of certain circumstances or conditions, reduced from or a mere projection of our former selves.

My kitchen is where a shadow feeds

Lives are being led somewhere, but not where we are, where there is only unwitnessed unrelieved silence.  I have had far too many long hours living the life of a shadow, wondering if I am merely a figment of my own imagination, wondering how long it takes for an untouched body to vanish into nothing, an unheard voice to lose all meaning, an unwanted heart to stop feeling. 

My chair is a shadow’s studio

Fortunately I have always managed to re-materialize before that time, for a time. But then it happens again, the slow receding of me from my life, or my life from me, the shadow times of talking to myself, or holding myself, or gazing into my own mirrored eyes, just to make sure I am still a corporeal being, even if there is no one to prove it, no one to see it, no one to care but me.  

Reflecting illusory sympathy

Recently, I began to feel I was once again slipping away, and I wrote the poem that I posted on my TTC Facebook page, that prompted the series of photographs that appeared all of last week on my Instagram account, captioned with lines from the poem that I now include here with the photos it inspired. My efforts received minimal response, which didn’t provide anywhere near the thrill of someone you love kissing you for the first time, but I did feel a lot less invisible, unheard and unknown. 

A shadow will sometimes fill my tub

Must say, not even three weeks into a new year with new routines and I am already really digging the cross-pollination possibilities of word and image between Blogger and Instagram, and keeping myself to the daily discipline of some sort of creativity that also works towards a further goal.  Not so much digging what occasioned these particular words and images, but what’s a shadow to do but wait for better times? Sometimes creativity has to be an end in itself, and so does the self. 

My love is a shadow a shadow loves

And here’s that poem in its entirety:

Note: I compose and view these posts on a laptop screen and have noticed that when viewed on a smartphone screen, where so many of us are doing our viewing these days, the photos can be grainy or blurry within the body of the post. However, if you tap them they will open in a new window of their own and look a lot sharper. This may prove especially useful with the photo of the poem above. Enjoy. - G.


  1. Hugs.
    Sometimes being a shadow is essential. A safe place to regroup.
    And at other times it is an incredibly lonely place. Mind you, the shadow has some light - or it wouldn't exist.

  2. So true EC. Or perhaps the shadow has mostly light, but it is all turned inwards. Then one day, someone taps it on the shoulder and says "there you are!" and all that light comes shining out again.

  3. Hi G - tis good to have the daily discipline - well done - who knows what will emerge out of the shadows. B

    1. Thanks so much B! You and F remain such an inspiration to my artmaking and life-living both. Now that I am back on Blogger and starting to feel comfortable with these new routines, the next step will be to start visiting other people's posts with a bit more regularity, yours included! Be well. -G

  4. Beautiful. It helps me appreciate how our shadow selves touch through media.

    1. Thanks Kass. I have such mixed feelings about connection through social media. On the one hand it is no substitute for in person contact, on the other hand, I cherish the friendships I've had online that could not otherwise have happened. It can be blessing or curse, especially for those living in isolation, either providing a different but genuine kind of intimacy or enabling its imitation or total lack. Sigh. Still working on a balance in this as all things.