Throwing Shadows

Note: This post first ran two years ago. I don’t expect people to dig deep into my old blog posts, so from time to time, I re-write and re-post one I liked.  I’m also recuperating from my right eye lens implant and need some shut-eye. Literally.

* * * * *
I do not know which to prefer,
The beauty of inflections
Or the beauty of innuendos,
The blackbird whistling
Or just after.

—Wallace Stevens, Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird

An abstract of shadows on a cement wall.

An abstract of shadows on a cement wall.

Shadows are wonderful art. They are both the object and a color. They have more possibility than the object itself, because everyone gets to fill in their own idea of color and size. Yet they are completely dependent on the angle and the amount of light.

A shadow is not the object, but it identifies the object. The shadow is never far from the object, and can be more beautiful and meaningful than the object.


Sometimes shadows bring understanding. What we cannot grasp in three dimensions and color becomes clear in black and gray, stretched out before us.

Bonsai and its shadow

Bonsai and its shadow

Shadows give dimension, add depth and occasionally a completely different perspective of our own opinion.

However you see them, shadows belong in your life, your journal, your photographs and your art journal. They will never bore you.

-Quinn McDonald would like to cast a long shadow across the earth, but still requires growth to accomplish it.

21 thoughts on “Throwing Shadows

  1. Thank you for re-posting this blog. I missed it the first time. I love shadows. The kids and I made shadow puppets one winter just in case the power went out and then secretly wished it would. There was much anticipation as we decided we wouldn’t use them unless there was no power. We were “rewarded” one night with about an hour’s outage. It was so much fun we turned the lights out when the power came back on and played for another hour or so. Our explorations took us from paper puppets on a stick to finger and hand puppets, holding up different things in the room and moving closer and further and finally silhouettes. We had a great time.
    It’s a beautiful memory I had forgotten until your blog today.
    I send you angels to sit beside you during your recovery.

  2. Love this post. I have been meaning to photo the shadows on the snow.
    They do tell so much more than the object that makes them.
    Hope your lens heals well and your physical sight improves.

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