Posts Tagged With: imagination

Catching My Shadow

I used to try to catch my shadow doing something different from I was doing.

I’d avert my eyes, pretend interest in something the opposite direction from my shadow. But secretly I was watching at the periphery for suspect movement and unexplained behavior from my flatter self.

shadow on sidewalk

A shadow on the sidewalk (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Surely there had to be some independent quality about my shadow. How else to explain its shorter stature at some parts of the day and its odd stretching reach at others. I was too young to understand the correlation between where the sun was in the sky and what my shadow chose to do. To me it was simply a mystery, explained by something I didn’t have the ability to understand yet.

I suppose I was only five or six at the time, although I could have been older.

I was a child that desperately wanted to believe in magic and in happily ever after. I was certain that if I only believed hard enough that I could wriggle my nose just right and a candy bar would appear. I knew if I practiced long enough, holding my arms just so, and blinking my eyes with a nod and a smile that I could travel through space instantly and be somewhere new and unusual. I even figured that if I stared into a mirror long enough I’d see my friends looking back at me.

What I’ve found over the years is that all that is true. It’s just not true in the way I thought it was.

There are explanations for what I and my shadow do, but they can’t usually be explained by magic or by the sun’s movement. There’s usually a deeper reason behind the logic of my choices and the emotions of my day. I may not understand those reasons, but the explanations are there, somewhere hidden in my psyche, my history, my fears and hopes.

Although different from my youthful variety, believing, practicing, trying, studying can all bring about change. A much slower process than I wish it were, results are still tangible and distinct.  Looking back over the shortened span of my past, the changes that have happened really are miraculous and amazing.

Who I am, who I’ve become, isn’t vastly different from the child me. I think the believer in magic is still there, beside me, like my shadow. She is part of who I am. In fact, the magic believer is my shadow.

There are days, weeks, months and years that I move forward in spite of all reality tells me is impossible. I keep moving along the path I set for myself, wishing, hoping, trying, studying, working. Somewhere in all that the magic formula will occur and the transformation will happen. I may not understand it. But I’ll keep on until I do or until I find a more logical, more hopeful, more intriguing path to take.

Yup, me and my shadow, we’ll just keep believing and see what happens next.


Categories: Joy, Wondering | Tags: , , , , | 6 Comments

Writer and Reader: A Work of Heart

English: Picture of an open book, that does no...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“I have come through this many of my allotted days, watched the passing of life on earth, made something of it and nailed it to the page. Having written, I find I’m often willing to send it on, in case someone else also needs this kind of reassurance. Art is entertainment but it’s also celebration, condolence, exploration, duty, and communion. The artistic consummation of a novel is created by the author and reader together, in an act of joint imagination, and that’s not to be taken lightly.” – Barbara Kingsolver, from “Careful What You Let in the Door” in her book of essays High Tide in Tucson

I love hearing that an author has respect for and interest in her readers. Maybe that’s why all the books I’ve read by Barbara Kingsolver resonate me with, regardless of the topic. She trusts her readers to bring thought, wisdom and intelligence with them when they open her book.

There are many authors whose works I’ve read that left me with a similar sense of collaboration. Surely that’s where the sentiment of “the book is always better than the movie” comes from. No movie maker can duplicate the combined imagination and interface of writer and individual reader. What happens in the space called reading is uniquely personal and potentially magical.

As solitary as reading appears to be on from the outside, surprisingly, it’s actually a relationship and an alliance. Thanks to authors like Kingsolver and many, many others, there are countless opportunities to be part of of such creative adventures.

Long live the written word!

Categories: Books, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: