I’ve been reading a series of books by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. These children’s books are a prequel to J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan. When Pearson’s daughter was five years old her family was reading Peter Pan together. She immediately wanted to know how Peter met Captain Hook. Ridley Pearson, a New York Times bestselling author, knew he wanted to tell the story about how a boy became Peter Pan. Barry and Pearson tell of how Peter came to be on an island with mermaids, pirates, Indians, lost boys, and Tinker Bell. As I read the books it quickly became evident that shadows were a predominate theme. In fact, the second book is entitled Peter and The Shadow Thieves. Evil was portrayed by a shadowy character who captured the shadows of others.
This got me to thinking about light and shadow, good and evil, happiness and sadness. In photography both light and shadows are required to make an image. If we only had light, our photos would be overexposed with no texture or depth. If we only have shadows our photos would be underexposed with no forms to recognize. In much the same way, we all have times of light and shadows in our lives. We have periods of intense joy and happiness and moments we feel doubt or hurt. These times of light and shadow create who we are. Do we want to totally avoid life’s shadows? I think not. How we handle the shadowy times gives us depth and forms our life. If there were no dark shadows, we wouldn’t appreciate the good times.
"Life is at its best when everything has fallen out of place,
and you decide that you're going to fight to get them right,
not when everything is going your way and everyone is praising you."
~ Thisuri Wanniarachchi
Here’s some things to do the next time shadows enter your life.
- stay positive – there really is a light at the end of the tunnel
- get creative – make the situation better
- learn something – find out what went wrong
- focus on what you can control
- have the right people around you
"Be thankful to those painful moments of your life,
because that is what shaped you to become who you are now."
~ Pradeepa Pandiyan
I know that taking my camera on a long walk helps me deal with the shadows in my life. With camera in hand my focus is turned to something else, usually the beauties of the world. I know we are all troubled by what is happening in our nation and in our world right now. Some of us are troubled by what is happening in our own lives, but instead of dwelling on the bad let’s look for the positive and be grateful for what we have. Let's take the bad with the good and seek joy!
"At times the world may seem an unfriendly and sinister place,
but believe that there is much more good in it than bad.
All you have to do is look hard enough.
And what might seem to be a series of unfortunate events
may in fact be the first steps of a journey."
~ Lemony Snicket