Shadows aren't always behind you

FTLComm - Tisdale - Tuesday, June 21, 2005
"Shadows aren't always behind you, they sometimes lead the way"
Its one of those interesting conventions, we always think of the shadow that we cast as a darkened area behind us yet in order even to see our shadow we have to turn around to see that shadow. There have been a lot of songs written about shadows and artists and photographers are often obsessed with these dark patches of reality.

If you are walking west in the evening, indeed a shadow will be following along behind you but if you are walking the same direction in the early morning there is a good chance that your shadow will be keeping pace with you in front of you.

As a photographer I am plagued with the negative spaces in each picture I take, shadows add drama to an image but mask detail, they are both a blessing and a curse but so is the shadows that lurk within our being, you might think of it as your mind or your memory but for most of us there are dark spots that we remember and sometimes want to forget.

Let us consider the past as a shadow, a kind of now that has move on along the time line and immediately we begin to realise that the shadows in our lives are real and though we so often want to think of them as behind us, they are almost always really and truly leading the way on that path that we are now pursuing.

We are all familiar with that famous comment on life that "I am a part of all that I have met" and as any artist, no matter what medium he or she creates in they will tell you that there is really nothing new. Each of us works with the world around us, they experiences we have had and the innovations others have developed from their experiences. Some relate that there is really nothing new under the sun that we who consider ourselves creative merely find a different way to present the same old thing and when you consider shadows as the past it is clear that each day and how we live it is a fabrication of what we know, what we have learned and the absolutely indelible imprint that we have imposed on all that we do.

As a young teenager I used to explain to my friends that I wanted so much to think differently and make my own unique mark on the world. That goal was not an easy one for the very nature of our society is to cull out diversity and enforce conformity. I had sideburns like Elvis and painted my bicycle pink. Immediately, even my attempt to be different meant that I was only modeling myself upon the style of another. We all can see this in subcultures of all ages, what is intended to be a statement of individuality becomes just another uniform.

There are lessons to be learned about shadows, they are completely incapable of doing anything that does not come from the object they are cast from. We must ask ourselves, is today just another replication of yesterday with a variation of weather and circumstance thrown in or do we consciously consider what we have done or have been doing and set out to make some new shadows for ourselves.

Timothy W. Shire


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Editor : Timothy W. Shire
Faster Than Light Communication
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