Thoughts on a Shadow

Conventionally, shadows are known as an absence of light.  It’s a place where the light cannot reach, so it leaves a dark outline of the thing blocking it.  Anything solid on this planet cast shadows, but what does it mean to have a shadow inside of you?

There’s something dark and tempestuous inside all of us.  Maybe we have bad tempers, or addictive personalities, or whatever.  It really doesn’t matter, the shadow inside of us is the, “dark”, parts of our personality that we feel aren’t suited for public consumption.

The song Long Way Down by Robert DeLong brought this to mind for me today.  There’s a line that says, “… if there’s a shadow in me, the dark’s a tidal wave inside of you.”

Something about this line strikes a chord.  I can’t help but feel like it’s directed at me, as I’m sure many people do.  For a long time I’ve gone out of my way to crush down that part of me, pretend it’s not there and hope no one ever sees it.  I didn’t realize until recently how foolish something like that is.

It’s a piece of me, it’s who I am.  Maybe not all that I am, but still a piece.  And do you know what that piece does?

It helps me write.

Yup, that’s it.  If I didn’t have that “bad” piece inside me, then I wouldn’t be able to write the stories that I do.  If I didn’t have that piece inside me I’m not sure I’d have the energy and the will power to complete everything I do on a daily basis.

That piece of me is one of the many things that make me unique.  Makes me, me.  And most of all, makes my stories mine.

I realize now that the piece of me I hoped would go away had left a mark in some way on every piece of writing I’ve ever done, from the comedies to my darker stories and screenplays.  And often times, the mark of that piece of me was the part that people liked the most.  Or the part that people felt was the most original.

So, if there’s any of you who’s wondering why I’m talking about this, just think about what could this mean for you.  Are you holding something back when you write?  Are you a big burly man who forces himself to write action novels instead of that romance rattling around in your head?

Are you a heterosexual with the great idea for some kind of LGBT story?

Whatever you may be holding back or trying to deny, I’m telling you right now stop.

Don’t deny the less desirable or possibly embarrassing ideas you may have, or qualities you possess.

At the end of the day, going outside the box like that is how you make your mark.

At the end of the day, how else is anyone going to know that you were ever there?

Sorry for my half soliloquy, half post here, but honestly….

I just felt like it needed to be said.

So what do you think?  Agree?  Disagree?  Think I’m nuts?  Is there another song that strikes a chord in you the way Long Way Down by Robert DeLong did for me?

Whatever you do think please leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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Featured Image: Creative Commons

 

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