Sitting Amongst the Shadows
When we stand in the light, we cast a shadow. Light and shade are to each other as breathing in and breathing out. Some aspects of ourselves are in shadow and others in light. There is often a tendency to be drawn by the invitation of the light and a reluctance to linger in the shadows. However in these darker areas, may I suggest that there is a mystery is to be welcomed. To be in this shady uncertain perhaps unnerving place of unknowing is to be refreshed and renewed. It is here that should we decide to dwell a while, we can gather strength for what is yet to come, and perhaps even have a liminal experience - A transitional experience where we move from knowing who we are and where we are going into a time of unknowing.
Our journey out of unknowing begins from darkness, but we perhaps should not rush too quickly towards the light. It is in this darkness that we can go deeper into the mystery of God, deeper into our unknowing, so as to go deeper into our knowing, it is a place where growth of the soul can occur. We are invited into this wilderness space, into the chaos and ambiguity, into the unknown and deeper into the mystery of what we do not know or cannot understand
Hidden in our shadow is an infinite reservoir of energy. Learning to recognise and take responsibility for our shadow qualities gives us more choices in responding consciously and creatively to the possibility’s life offers us. Marion Woodman, in her book ‘Coming Home to Myself’ writes
“the shadow is anything we are sure we are not;
It is part of us we do not know, sometimes do not want to know,
Most times do not want to know.
We can hardly bear to look
It may carry the best of the life we have not lived”
Shadows have mystery and depth. Shadows can connect us to thought, meaning and seeing beyond the obvious. Acknowledging shadows can be transformative in terms of atmosphere and mood. Shadows are transient and ever changing, there is a calmness and silentness about them, and they remind us that everything is finite. The subtle beauty of natural shadows, appearing and disappearing with the ebb and flow of the day leads to an inherently contemplative way of observing life.
We recently spent a day here at the Bield exploring shadows creatively. I invite you now to embrace your shadows
You draw me as to hidden treasure.
Sometimes afraid, I resist
Gently persistent you wait
Watchful with hope
Until you speak
You invite me into delight!
I stretch to embrace
Your presence revealing more
Truths evoking grief.
Too much to bear.
I flee into darkness
Hidden, I wait,
Until dawn breaks
And I am
- Maureen Fowler