In my last piece, I wrote about my failure. I acknowledged maybe I had been a failure at real life since I did not have the wherewithal to handle the things which real life demanded while acknowledging that it was not what I had prayed for in the first place. But as I retreated into afterthought (as one does after hitting the “send” button and receiving feedback from the blog followers and friends of this blog), I wondered if I had spoken the complete truth. I tend to ask myself that nowadays because as a person of poetic orientation, my literary dexterity can sometimes be a cloak of self-deception.
I mentioned the word failure quite a bit. It was an opportunity to face a haunting thought. That moment when we turn to face the shadow after walking in bright light for some time. The shadow depending on the time of day (or distance from the light source) appears to occupy a larger or smaller space on the nearby surface. The shadow mirrors our every move but if we turn to the shadow for guidance on ourselves we lose sight of the path ahead brightly lit, in favor of a dark imprint of the only object in the way of the light… ourselves. You focus on the shadow, you lose yourself.
Failure is like a shadow. It is what remains after the light has been shown to us. The dark patch in our path, on the side or behind us while the light shines brightly showing us where to go.
But since I am a human with imagination, the shadow sometimes grows a life of his own and bearing three offspring. Often well mated with words of other ingrained in my past, revived of course according my own fears and thought patterns. The three surviving offspring of this union are incompetence, loss and rejection. And with every shadow, they know sure do show up in rebirth and the thoughts resurrect ever so fatefully. Failure like a shadow is not light. It is the product of an object in the presence of light. So why would I give so much importance and thought energy to the word or even sense of failure? I have come to discover, it’s not for the actual failure itself but the accompanying thoughts that arise. The real dark elements are in fact my memories, whether accurate or thwarted, plus my fears that render my sense of failure most intense.
So while failure is just a shadow, I have to be aware of its accompaniments. Incompetence must measure only upon where the light is shone not where darkness lands. For we cannot judge what we do not see. The light exposes that which can sustain it and that which can’t, oh well it is not visible and therefore, for the observation, irrelevant.
Loss can only be measured where we have acquired. Can we acquire a shadow? We have the body that’s what matters. We can hold onto the shadow. It has no mass and no weight and in fact gives us nothing in return. It just reminds us of the light around the corner and that light missed something on the surface, not the object. The dark patch is on the surface not the body. It is not for the body to acquire but the for surface to register. There is no loss. There is only that which cannot be held because that which is to be held, observed and illuminated is already in possession of the matter under consideration in the light.
Then there is rejection. The notion that your acceptance was dependent on the actions of your shadow. At once, we must be alert to the fact that anyone paying attention to our shadow is not aware of the light. Rejection like the space between the object and shadow is imaginary. In reality, the space is between the object and the surface, (wall, pavement, screen) not the shadow. Any importance placed on the shadow over the revelation of the lit object is merely an affirmation of ill intent. You cannot reject a shadow. You can only shine light on the surface.
I wonder if my drift into metaphor on this subject confuses you but on the other hand, I hope the double meaning refreshes you cosmic imagination as you can see that our thoughts and actions are like objects in the light. See what the light reveals not what shadow is left behind.