bluish shadow

Strange day, yesterday. Sitting in my own shadow for most of the afternoon. Where to begin? Perhaps it started with my expectations, then grew into a vague feeling of disappointment, coloring the entire day. A chemical spill on I-5 sent my significant B home and back into bed with me in the early am, a rare treat. I had made plans to make an entry here and do some collaging and photo taking and also maybe squeeze some reading in. But having him home felt like it was going to be a day at Disneyland instead, so I unconsciously canned those ideas and got my hopes up for a walk in the forest, trip to the ice cream shop or something extraordinary. As it turns out, he had major sleep to catch up on and napped for most of the day. I had to tiptoe around and try to do things outside so as not to disturb him. I did get some reading in. All the while I'm doing this, I'm not really feeling blue or anything. I'm happy that he is catching up on lost sleep, a condition often caused by me flopping my big belly around and trying to get comfortable. He went to help friends move a bathtub and was gone for a little while, and it was when he returned and the clock read seven pm that the sinking feeling of missed opportunity set in. I retreated to a bath with May Sarton where I stayed for a good hour. What I came to discover about myself is that I am here by myself every day, and I'm bored. I was asked by my doctor to limit body movement because of a little seperation of my placenta that we are investigating. Shouldn't be too long before I'm able to be active again. Doing bodywork is out, which has an amazing grounding and energizing effect on me. When I am here alone, I move my day along with small meals, long moments with dogs, short naps, bits of reading, phone calls, blogging, etc. But because he was here, I thought, "Goodie! Company!" After some conversation and getting up for a late night snack, I felt much better about accepting responsibility for my own feelings. What it all came down to for me was that I am responsible for creating my own day, making it worthwhile, and I let myself down by not doing what I need to do to keep my energy up and feel glad at days end. Sitting in the bath, I also found myself thinking about "the work". Rather than feeling mystified by it, as in "what is my work/purpose/medium?", which I am prone to do, I imagined that I know what "the work" is. Maybe today it is poetry, collage, watercolor or drawing. The idea is that I must do it. This is how I get to be comfortable in my own skin. Regardless of what my physical situation is or who is around, I am determined to create an environment within myself where the work can take place. It can be very fertile to be alone in my shadow, especially when someone else is around. It makes me aware that something is up-usually unmet expectations, I think, and allows me to quietly wilt inside if I want to in order to bloom again later. Kind of like inner deadheading. I used to fight the feeling when I didn't know how to recognize it. This seemed to produce a cranky-baby like response that would generally result in an emotional volcano. May cites Jung in Journal of a Solitude, "The shadow is a tight passage, a narrow door, whose painful constriction no one is spared who goes down to the deep well...what comes after the door is, surpisingly enough, a boundless expanse full of unprecedented uncertainty..." So I ask you, what does your shadow look like? How do you feel when you are in it?


Anonymous Alex said...

I love my shadow because I get that it contains some of the richest most vital parts of who I am. But its also an intensely painful part of ourselves to live with nonetheless. Today mine feels like its much stronger or powerful than I suspect it should be. Today my shadow has plenty to express that I really don't want to hear to be honest. Sometimes, I welcome a dialogue with my shadow. Often actually. But today this isn't the case. I wish instead for it to be gentle with and towards the rest of me.

7/29/2005 11:35:00 AM  
Blogger Kerstin said...

Speaking of shadows reminds me of what my friend Paul said when I was talking about the happiness I felt in the relationship with the man who is now my husband: "Where there is a lot of light there is a lot of shadow." (Thanks Paul!)

7/29/2005 12:49:00 PM  
Blogger Sally Jane said...

Hi =)
I've just started reading your blog, and I am really enjoying it!
It's so refreshing and encouraging to be privy to at least some of the processes of a person, seemingly very self-aware- such as yourself!
This post is a perfect example!-
And you even noted yourself the difference in how you NOW react to these shiftings within yourself-
Previously volcano-ish reactive meltdown! [I hear that! =) ]
This post really reminded me of this mexican proverb which I have on my inspiration board, I seem to forget it often, but it's a good one to take on board:

El que es buen gallo donde quiera canta
A good rooster can crow anywhere.

So crow away!! =)

7/29/2005 05:34:00 PM  
Anonymous LaughingLeo said...

I was poised over the keyboard earlier to comment on this wonderful piece, then you called and I left the site to enjoy the sound of your voice. However, what I had in mind earlier has dribbled out and this thought seeped in as I searched by flashlight over this piece of land for a cat named Alabama Wiley.
The dark shadows were dancing all around me as I walked and shone the light through neck high vegetation. They waltzed when I moved my arm slow, and jitter-bugged when I moved it faster. Had I not had I not been focused on my mission, the shadows would have been frightening. Instead of fearing the shadows, each dark, moving form brought something else to my heart. Every shadow equalled hope; hope that it was Alabama. Perhaps my lesson is that shadow can be a place to discover treasures; to find something that is lost.

7/29/2005 10:24:00 PM  
Blogger Swirly said...

I love the honesty of this entry. As always, you inspire me to look at myself and all the ways I deal with the world around me.

I do not mind being alone with my shadow - I thrive on it in many ways, actually - but I do find myself getting very irritable and cranky during times when I feel disconnected from my fiancee. Right now we are in the midst of a really busy week, and as much as I tried to keep the month of August open, it is starting to become "planned", which is completely stressing me out. More plans means less time to just BE. I like my shadow, but not when it has to go, go, go. I need it to be still sometimes.

7/30/2005 09:01:00 AM  
Blogger auburnpisces said...

What a poignant post. I loved it.

8/01/2005 12:01:00 PM  
Blogger pinkcoyote said...

oh golly, you guys are good. the shadow is so much like good compost. our dark sides are not to be feared. methinks...

8/01/2005 12:40:00 PM  

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