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Embracing the Shadow


Ghoulishly uplit by the light from a screen, a writer sits hunched over a keyboard. It has no idea how long it has been here, pounding and tapping, searching through the rubble of words and ideas that litter the floor of its brain.

Finally the writer rises and steps outside to breathe. Out from under the shadows of the porch, the writer emerges into the clear, brisk air of an autumn morning and sees its own shadow standing right there.

Where’ve you been?! Implores the writer. . . no entreats the writer. . . .no asks the writer. Where’ve you been? I’ve been searching for you in words and the spaces between them. I’ve turned over rock hard ideas and stuck my hand into cold, dark spaces, looking for you.

Paradoxically, if you want to find your shadow, all you have to do is come into the light. On a clear day I am always here, both early and late, waiting for you.

The writer sat down on a rock and let its head drop into its hands. I’ve grown weary, it said, of lightness and all rightness and sleight of handedness. Without you, nothing rings true.

The shadow, waiting only to be asked, slipped effortlessly inside its writer and both became whole. While life was ever more nuanced and complicated for the writer, and often it hurt, there was a vibrancy that had been missing. And the writing at last rang true.

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