There are plenty of fun things to engage one’s inner photographer at my mom’s cabin. Beautiful pine forest aside (did I just say that?), there are many dare I say “alternative” vignettes and unexpected finds she has created, just awaiting discovery by visitors. This weekend it was an old mannequin hand on a shelf—not necessarily strange for my mom’s place (wink). It’s posed, frozen fingers beckoned during a sunny moment of light filtering between closed blinds, creating a striking play of light and shadow across the smooth, white hand resting on a slatted shelf. I grabbed my camera and clicked away.
As I edited the stream of photos, a stream of thought began about how these images were speaking to me as a metaphor of light and shadow in our daily lives. I thought about how shadow and light in that moment had created something so appealing for me to want to capture, while in my daily world, my “shadow side” (negative thoughts, criticism, anger, self-doubt, insecurity, etc.) causes me such frustration and pain. For example, in our relationships with friends and family and particularly with our self, we are on a cyclic rhythm of shadow and light created through our thoughts, behavior, and action. Yet isn’t it true that without one, we cannot appreciate the power of other? Without the light, I would not have experienced the dramatic shadows on the mannequin hand that appealed to me. It is the same in life, without the shadow, or times of darkness we cannot appreciate the power and peace of the light—however that is presented for each of us. And why shouldn’t we appreciate the beautiful humanness of this shadow play within us? Our shadow selves do in fact help to balance us; in a way it keeps us in check, it gifts us empathy and compassion through the value of perspective in what we let in and what we put out.
With a little digital play, I ended up with the three images I liked and shared here, each one I felt created a different mood, what do you think? What thoughts come to mind about light and shadow?