tale of the shadow

  • What is this obsession you have with the human face? Asked the Shadow.
  • I don’t know, I cannot explain what it means to me. Not in words, nor in gestures. It terrifies me, it haunts me, it moves me, I cannot escape it, nor do I want to.
  • Why do you draw it? Pressed the Shadow.
  • How can I not? What do you do when something makes so much sense to you, when somehow, all your thoughts and ideas stem from the emotions behind it? Isn’t it perhaps necessary to capture, to study, to honor that which won’t uncover the mystery it holds?
  • Do you ever draw yourself? The Shadow added.
  • No. I haven’t been able to so far. The face…It is something I’ve always been able to uncover. It is like a complex map of emotion, a history of events, and a window into something so much deeper…something hidden…so sacred, it cannot be uttered in words. I don’t like getting so up close with myself. Not out of fear, but out of the wonder I like to keep untainted by the filter of my subjective rationale. We all deserve to keep some things undiscovered, even of ourselves, to ourselves.
  • Perhaps you are a slave to it then? To this idea. What happens when you exhaust it? The Shadow said curiously.
  • When I do exhaust it, I will draw and contemplate hands, then feet, then elbows, and so on. They are all just reflections of the face really. They have a “face of their own”, absolutely unique and so violently alive.
  • What’s wrong with nature? Don’t you ever just draw trees or flowers? Shadow insisted
  • Hardly. They don’t bring emotion out of me…I do not know why. To me, they are just a backdrop for the human existence; beautiful, but absurd without it.

Shadow curled up in a ball and uttered:

  • What happens to the shadow? The shadow of this human, what do you make of that? 
  • The shadow is eternaly unknowable, unquestionable. I can only say that it promises to be many things but never really is any of those things. I will tell you if I ever shed any light on…the shadow.
  • I wonder if this shadow is the actual point, the Shadow whispered. Have you been looking in the right place? Or are you seeing only what your sight is able to grasp? What if the human figure itself is merely a projection of this enigma? Perhaps only a small, tangible, knowable glimpse into the depth of this “black hole” you call a shadow.

Her words struck me, and I was never quite the same.

— Hela

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