Shadow Boxing by Maureen McMahon
Let us look at the shadow. It’s darkness. It’s the absence of light. It’s the space left where sunlight should be and therefore cold. There’s no substance to the shadow. It exists only because something of substance is too dense to allow light filtration. If I were to become "overshadowed" by you, does this mean that I am less tangible? Are you more valid than I? If I was to "walk in your shadow", would I walk in cold and darkness, in a void left by your passing? And would you bask in the light and warmth aware but uninterested in my vacuous mimicry? And God forbid, if I were to become a "shadow of my former self", would I merely be that cold, dark space left where once I was? If I was already overshadowed by you, or walking in your shadow, how could I become a shadow of my former self? Is it possible, I ask you, to become less than nothing?
The night, my friend, is one large shadow. The earth shutting it's eye to the sun. The moon, in turn, basking in it's rightful glory. In shadow, creatures sleep. There’s life in light, sleep in darkness -- death in darkness. "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death...". Is death, then, merely loss of substance? If death is shadow, what casts it? What wondrous entity holds dominance over animation? And what monumental lustre allows the shadow of death to be cast? Is this what is meant by God? There’s always a light at the end of a tunnel, people who have come back say, a blinding, comforting light. Perhaps, then, death is like the night, a time of repose, for rest and sleep, but temporary, waiting only for the bulk of mortality to move aside and allow the blinding warmth of paradise to shine through.
So you see we must not be afraid of the shadows. They are merely spaces for rest and if I "walk in your shadow" or you "overshadow" me or I "become a shadow of my former self", I will pause with relief and lie down to wait for the cycle to complete and the light to return.