Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Myth-Reya and Her Shadows

The sun was out all day yesterday, shining brightly down onto the landscape, creating the most beautiful, sharp black shadows. Delicious!

I love shadows, I really do. My jones for shadows is one of the wavelengths I share with my beloved blog brother Steve, and (I expect) with a lot of people.

Jake's shadow is almost as cute as he is. In fact I've featured his shadow many a time on the blog. I like the short pudgy shadows cast at noon, and the long, tall shadows of early morning and late afternoon. During the summer, I'm grateful for shade, a type of shadow cast by trees in full leaf. In the shade, the air cools instantly. Shade is powerful.

Should mention, too, that I've spent many years exploring the metaphor of my own shadow, i.e. all the stuff about myself I really don't want to look at, or have no idea is there.

Shadows are marvelous, beautiful. Shadows add depth, help describe the contour of people and things. When I look at shadows, I understand more about what's casting that shadow. Shadows also help me better understand the light that's shining on the person or thing. When I can't see my own shadow I feel diminished.

My fascination with shadows is another facet of my mithraic nature. I'm celebrating the return of the sun after a long bout of overcast days this spring. It's great to be back in the light, hanging out with my shadow. Oh yeah!


Barbara said...

I just started Joanne Harris's new book The Girl with No Shadow. It's a sequel to Chocolat. The first chapter told the story of a boy who had traded his shadow for eternal life, only to realize how much he missed it. It promises to be an interesting read.

I clearly remember your fascination with the movement of shadows as the sun changes, drawing chalk outlines that form interesting patterns as the sun moves through the sky.

Reya Mellicker said...

Even though I'm suspicious of sequels, the story sounds good.

Is it in Winnie the Pooh that someone loses his shadow and has to stitch it back to his socks? Or ... is that Peter Pan? Can't remember the story but I do remember the illustration from the book my mother used to read to us.

Shade is the name I associate with one of the dragons. It's a velvety, thick, dark dragon that rules shade and shadow.

Reya Mellicker said...

Terrible grammar in the first paragraph. Mea culpa.

Washington Cube said...

I memorized Robert Lewis Stevenson's "My Shadow" from his Child's Garden of Verse when I was little. I think I mentioned it when you had the first poetry blog day going on:

My Shadow

I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,
And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.
He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;
And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed.

The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow
Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow;
For he sometimes shoots up taller than an india-rubber ball,
And sometimes he’s so little that there’s none of him at all.

He hasn’t got a notion of how children ought to play,
And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way.
He stays so close beside me, he’s a coward you can see;
I’d think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me

One morning, very early, before the sun was up,
I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup;
But my lazy little shadow, like an arrant sleepy-head,
Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.

I remember as a child thinking, "What is an india rubber ball," not getting the "india" part.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

wonderful pictures, wonderful post.

there is so much to shadows - thanks for waxing on about them so elegantly.

you and steve both are able to capture the magic of shadows in your respective photos. thanks for sharing the beauty.

Reya Mellicker said...

Thank you, Mouse.

Oh CUBE - my mother loved that poem and used to recite it to us, too! Re-reading it brought a flood of memories to mind. Thank you!

rothko said...

Love those pics. The composition in both is excellent.

dennis said...

Dennis thinks Shadows are magical, and our shadow selves mysterious...

Lynne said...

OH! I love that first photo! The colors, the shadows, the composition. Everything! Fantastic! I would be framing that one and hanging it on the wall.

The shadows we cast are usually out of sync with who we really are, or at least how other people perceive us. Very interesting indeed!

Moonroot said...

Fantastic photos!!

Lee's River/Zlatovyek said...


lettuce said...

fab fab photos, both of them - so different and both so you

Steve said...

Oh! Oh! Oh! I'm so sorry I didn't see this post sooner. Fabulous photos, Reya. (And I love Cube's comment with the poem -- I remember that poem as well!)

The thing I love most about shadows is that they're constantly changing. The shadow you see now is different from the shadow of two minutes ago, and it will never be the same again. By the time a year has elapsed, and the sun is again at that angle, the objects casting the shadow will likely have changed.

Shadows are such a perfect embodiment of transience.

Reya Mellicker said...

Steve? OH YEAH!!