We're told we're hiding in the shadow of others if we don't "achieve" as much as we could.
Also shadows are said to be where bad people lurk!
But shadows are the essence of something far more meaningful than a reflection of physical form. Shadows are the corners of our mind the light of reason rarely touches.
They offer a window into another world. The world of eternal darkness that all too many of us love to fear.
It was the Chinese Han dynasty that gave us shadow puppets. One of Emperor Wu of Han's concubines died and he was so stricken with grief that he ordered his servants to raise her from the dead, and so, with a lamp and a figure made of donkey leather, they brought her shadow back to life.
Things turn even more eerie when it comes to shadow people. These are dark figures that are said to inhabit our peripheral vision (accompanied by a feeling of terrible dread) only to vanish if you try to look at them directly.
But these metaphors of fear hide a much more relaxing and wonderful truth.
Those dark corners of the mind are not full of fear and woe, but are the first steps on the path of truth if we allow ourselves to find out more about them.
"Find beauty not only in the thing itself but in the pattern of the shadows, the light and dark which that thing provides".
~~ Junichiro Tanizaki
"Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings - always darker, emptier and simpler".
~~ Friedrich Nietzsche
Holidaying in Broome, Western Australia in May 2007 we went on a camel ride along Cable Beach. The sun was setting and I took this photo while up on the camel.