Friday, September 21, 2012
reflections of the shadows within
it's raining and i wanted to capture a photo to depict this wet day. as i was snapping this big bowl of stones, i noticed my own shadow in them, distorted by the surfaces and the rain. i had the hood of my raincoat up, and thought the shadow looked quite monster-ish. it's fitting since i'm reading peter ackroyd's the house of doctor dee, a novel based on the real john dee (a 16th century alchemist). there are a lot of shadows, ghosts and monsters in the book, so perhaps i'm just seeing them everywhere. the atmosphere of the book is wonderfully dark (also fitting for a rainy day). it seems to be out of print as copies are £99 on amazon, so check your library.
in addition to making you see monsters and shadows everywhere (or monsters in your shadows), it will also make you want to go to london. immediately. it's like london is one of the characters in the book, with a life of its own, going on underneath the people that populate its streets. it's wonderful in an ominous sort of way.
my recent encounters with a compulsive liar have me thinking about the shadows we all have within. i wonder a lot about her shadows, the ones driving her to tell so many lies. i think at the bottom of it, she knows she's in way over her head, but has so built her identity on where she is and what she does that she can't face the thought of it all coming crashing down. so she lies. and frankly makes it ever more likely that it's going to come crashing down. because the lies are easy to disprove at every turn and they are piling up. but she hides those shadows quite well by having a bubbly and winning personality. but i predict that the lies will catch up with her. probably sooner, rather than later. and it's so unnecessary. i feel a bit sorry for her, really.
sometimes the shadows are just baggage that we carry with us and it breaks open once in awhile. or shows very clearly to others, even if it doesn't to ourselves. i actually had to photograph my buddy the troglodyte this week and funnily enough, he chose himself to pose with a sculpture of suitcases that's on display in town. it made photographing him so easy because i don't think he saw himself the delicious irony of it - that his photo puts his baggage on display for all to see. my photos of him underline it perfectly. and that makes me rather happy in an admittedly petty and mean way.
most of the time tho', i think that no one else can truly know the shadows we carry within. no one else can know what's really going on inside of exactly me - how i feel, what i think and the whys and wherefores. sometimes i think that even i can't really know it - it's too complex and elusive. i guess that's what makes it all the more interesting to catch a reflection of the shadow within.