Friday, May 7, 2010
Wendell Berry’s “I Go Among Trees and Sit Still” has lead me to shadow talk.
Thank you, Indigo, Marion and Erin, for comments. They have inspired me to write this post.
Day and night, light and dark. A time to weep, and a time to smile. Nature makes balance. Without it, the world would tip over.
Without the sun, there would be no laughter. Without the shadow, there would be too much arrogance, overconfidence, self-assertion.
Yet I’m no romantic in the face of Shadowland. I know its place on the map, there’s no denying it. Still, the land of Shadows is not a place I enter by free will. The landscape can be fierce and wild and hilly. Many people get lost there. Some people die.
I have great respects of the dark. I am humbled by its existence. I have walked paths I had no idea existed, let alone where they would lead me. The air was dense with fog and night. I had to crawl on all four, or lean on great sticks to keep the balance. I had to tiptoe around huge rocks, run across open fields, cover myself in camouflage clothing.
I know the activity has made me strong. My legs have muscles. Though sometimes I forget, and behave as if there was not a single bone in my body.
I have seen great clouds covering people. Right now there is a huge one above the head of a loved friend. Had I the magic wand, I would have spelled SUNSHINE with giant letters. Had God asked if I meant the 12-o’clock sunshine where shadows are right beneath our feet, you might guess at my answer.
I know the good of shadows. The people I value most have been through dark nights of the soul. They have that extra glow. The extra dimension. By accepting their smallness, they have become big.
So, let me rephrase a sentence from the last posting. Had God asked me if I would like a life of sunshine without the shadows, I would have screamed from the top and the bottom of my lungs - YES, YES, YES! Then, since I’m a sensible girl, I would have said, okay, Sweet Lord. I know I’m not the creator, I know I’m only a grain of sand of the great beaches. I know that I really don’t know.
Except this, of course. that I want the fruits of the shadows.
But that, I suppose, is like saying I want to eat cream cake all day and still stay slim and healthy as a gracious tulip in May.........
Ps. This subject intrigues me. If anyone has a poem to share, please do. I welcome any insight into the mystery of the shadows.