The Shadow’s Duality

Authors

The shadow is a fascinating phenomenon. Its plain meaning is simply an outline or silhouette of an object that is blocking light. Thus, whenever there is a light source on one side of an opaque object, the ground on the opposite side has a darkened area in the shape of the item. The width and length of the shadow is dependent upon the angle between the object and the light’s origin. Sometimes shadows capture an observer’s interest because of a peculiar color or shape. For the most part, however, we don’t have the time to contemplate the shadows we cast while they interact with those of all of the items we use in our daily lives.

Moreover, there are some interesting observations regarding shadows that have both positive and negative connotations as with everything else under the sun (or in the shade). To begin with, this manifestation affects our sight because an area of darkness appears on the other side of the thing that blocks the light, and also how we feel, because standing in shade on a hot sunny day is usually ten degrees cooler. Therefore, the shadow, which has a secondary two-dimensional existence, offers protection. But, at this point we change its name to “shade”.

On the other hand the shadow denotes a secretive darkness where evil things happen, like a shadow government of multiple Czars with civilian paramilitary enforcers. People staying in the “shadows” live in fear of exposure and while undiscovered feel free to carry out their nefarious activities. Then again, the shadows we cast reflect something about each of us, showing our shapes and hiding nothing from the observer. We can also recognize the silhouettes of people in certain occupations, like dancers, doctors, nurses, soldiers, police officers, chefs, construction workers and the like. These are people whose occupational garb gives off a certain look that forms the shapes of shadows. Interestingly, the shadows of politicians have no such distinguishing features.

In conclusion, the shadow can be useful or harbor some unrevealed potential harm. Those who believe that they can take advantage of the cover of darkness are living in a fool’s paradise, because sooner or later the sunshine exposes everything. When the sun is directly overhead there are no shadows and therefore all the denizens of the dark are exposed, which is why scandals are commonplace. In the world of opposites, even the shadow can denote good or evil depending on whether or not we use it as shade or concealment.

As Featured On EzineArticles

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