This poem The Elusive Shadow is from Michael Jackson’s Dancing the Dream. While remaining a step ahead of its looming presence he finally turns to face it and sees his soul.
We fear the unknown, the numinous and the dark but it is the womb from which we spring, a well of dreams. The shadow, like a thief in the night offers many possibilities, not the least of which is love.
I love the way this dance of the moon by Yang LiPing brings grace and power to the shadow in night’s light.
Yet the shadow looms large, even grotesquely in our minds eye. All the things we cannot accept about ourselves can progress from morbid fascination, shame and resentment to autonomous complexes, wrecking all kinds of internal havoc.
There are times it demands our attention, forcing us to deal with a problem or reminding us to laugh. Here, Fred Astaire projects both collective and personal shadow elements, dancing with his shadow in black face, in 1936 a tribute to Bill Bojangles Robinson from Swingtime.
And of course, there’s our favorite mutual shadow projection, romance. Love, what’s not funny/tragic/chaotic/comforting?