Good Evening! As I write this I am excited for a lunar eclipse that will begin in a few short hours. And I wonder if I will be able to stay up for it, or if I should just go to sleep now and get up in the wee hours to observe it.
I’m a sucker for all things celestial – eclipses, meteor showers, comets, stars, galaxies – they all fascinate me. Mostly because they remind me of my place in the scheme of things. They remind me to look away, however briefly, from my mostly self-centered and small view of the world and of my life. They remind me that I am but a speck of dust in a universe so large that I cannot comprehend its scale.
But the funny thing about an eclipse is that it’s just shadows – until it’s refracting light, passing gloriously through our earth’s atmosphere and painting the surface of our closest neighbor in hues of russet, red and orange. And then it’s shadows again.
Shadows have always fascinated me. They couldn’t exist without the presence of the thing that they hint at – the thing that is casting them. And maybe that’s why shadows can be so disturbing at times. A shadow out of place can warn of danger and propel us to action. Or it can hint at something wonderful and cause us to stop and take notice.
But shadows also require light.
Everything in our world is a play of contrasts – light and shadow. The imminently approaching eclipse is no different. And without contrasts what would we have to push against? To strive for? To overcome? Is this what gives us our very meaning and sense of purpose?
It bears thinking about. One of my favorite things to do is to try to imagine things from a different perspective, to find that little hidden twist that makes everything suddenly seem upside-down and inside-out and makes me say, “Aha!”
And of course, it makes me want to write – stories where good is bad and right is wrong, and the hero has to make some fundamental change to their way of thinking (or doing) in order to finally see what has been hidden in plain sight all along.
What shadows linger in your mind, and what would it look like if they emerged from the eclipse and let the light shine on them?