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Unmovable Shadows

February 20, 2012

In the beginning, the nature of shadows seemed poetic to me. Shadows that the sun makes are never inert for long. They stand up, stretch, and dance with the earth. On the other hand, shadows from an artificial light source has no reason to move, so they don’t. Their ground never shakes.

I was touched by the rightness of it, the accidental poetry of the universe. Our shadows — our souls, stitched to our bodies by light. The sun and the bulb transformed into an easy metaphor for authenticity of all kinds — of wisdom, of friendship, of love. Surely, our souls must need stretching that can only come out of something “natural”.

But then, I realized that none of it was true. Shadows are shadows in the same way everywhere.

If you were to take a lit light-bulb and swing it back and forth — the shadows (our souls) — would shake with equal vigor and more than a little madness. Naming artificiality was itself an artificial game we play to keep apart what we can and what we cannot control.

I misplaced where my poetry lay, got my wisdom from the wrong story.

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