Experience is a brutal teacher…

Shadowplay

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“Experience is a brutal teacher, but you learn fast.” ― William Nicholson

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What is shadow?

Is it the contrast of light or is light the contrast of it?

And what about the shades of grey which exist between shadow and light?

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What is… shadowed?

Is it the same as shadow… or something else entirely?

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For me personally (in my opinion and perspective), shadow is something natural, an essential, whereas shadowed… is very different from shadow. Perhaps it too is natural and essential, but shadowed does not necessarily have an actual shadow, it is more of a figment, an abstract, a concept which resembles shadow. It may feel like a real shadow but it doesn’t always look that way.

A person, or some thing like a memory, can shadow you without shadow. It can be bright, suffused with light, and you are a shadow of it… something which got in the way of the path of its light. A harsh light, perhaps, not a friendly one. One which casts no shadow, yet shadows.

Sort of along the lines of questioning whether someone who is presenting themselves a certain way is truly who they are appearing to be.

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I’ve been exploring the notion of ‘two-faced’ recently.

Part of this is due to this time of year – January, the month named after a two-faced god. I was born during this month, and we are in this month now… a time which often feels like a limbo between what went on last year and what is slowly gearing up this year. Those gears sometimes take a while to get in motion. A time between faces, a time with two-faces… maybe more than two.

Part of this is also due to my catching up on the second season of a TV series – Catfish. I loved the film and have enjoyed the spin-off MTV series. Mostly because Nev Schulman and Max Joseph are very personable, considerate and understanding. They get the grey areas of being, doing and living, online and offline, and the land in between offline and online.

In a black and white world this series would be very different… I’m glad it exists in a multi-hued and umbral place.

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Are we ever who we say that we are?

Aren’t we all a little bit two-faced? Not in a necessarily negative interpretation of the meaning of two-faced (our choice of interpretation may reflect our own two-faced-ness rather than that of others), but in a more open view of it.

A private self versus a public self. A personal experience of ourselves versus how others experience us.

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“I am as I am. The world is as it is. Whether I am content with that has very little to do with it.”

― William Nicholson

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Can anyone else other than ourselves ever know us as we are?

Can we know ourselves as we are?

Can we know ourselves as others do?

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Does who others experience you as being shadow who you experience yourself as being… do you feel the need to live up to how others perceive you, perhaps sacrificing your own view of yourself?

Is who you are… who you are or who others believe you are?

Can the twain meet and find a sweet spot?

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“Today begins my walk with you. Where you go, I go. Where you stay, I stay. When you sleep, I will sleep. When you rise, I will rise. I will pass my days within the sound of your voice, and my nights within the reach of your hand. And none shall come between us.” ― William Nicholson

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ShadowedHeart