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the shadow you cast...

I am currently enrolled in a photography class at the International Center of Photography in New York City. Last week our instructor gave us an assignment he referred to as the 'Exhaust Exercise'.

We were to find a place to sit for an hour and take 25-50 photographs. Because I was suffering from bronchitis I chose to sit at the end of my sofa and not brave the cold weather outside. Believe it or not, I took over 100 photographs as the sun went down over NYC and changed the light every few minutes in my apartment from 4:30 to 5:30pm.

I committed to sitting on my sofa and not getting up or rearranging anything. Luck have it I was just close enough to my window that I was able to slip my hand behind the shade to create this huge shadow.

While the photograph is nothing to write home about its message is powerful to me.

The shadow looks nothing, not even close, to the shape of my real hand. How distorted and magnified it is compared to the reality of the hand you can see behind the shadow.

My grandson and I talk about shadows and monsters a lot these days. His three year old mind sees and absorbs life so literally and dramatically. His joy is HUGE and his monsters are HUGE. There is no doubt, in time, he will outgrow his monsters but other 'shadows' will take their place.

I know in my own life 'shadows' can feel so very, very real. We believe they are real. We make decisions about our lives as if they are real. We stop short. We don't try. We give up. We make excuses. Oh my oh my oh my..........the shadows are NOT REAL! We just THINK they are.

That shadow on my shade is pretty intimidating. But take a closer look at my hand behind the shadow...... it's so relaxed and reaching upwards for heavens sake! Nothing to fear. Nothing to keep you stuck. Nothing that says you are not being chased by a big ole mean made up monster shadow.

Our minds are so incredibly creative..... be careful you don't use that beautiful gift against yourself.

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