Updated: Apr 4, 2021
Do you see a shape that you recognize when you see shadows? Is it a person, an object, or something else? Our mind plays tricks on us sometimes or it can spark creativity through imagination. When I was much younger, I remember playing with shadows at night and sometimes during the day. Our four boys got to see a little bit of that when we used to play with light and shadows. It is a fun experience, seeing what you could make up with your hands or other objects to create the silhouette.
When we sit down a certain way or move a certain way, light allows us to see the different color spectrum through the mist, rain, glass, and anything that splits the different waves of color. A silhouette is different in that it is usually a dark form where we temporarily limit the flow of light onto the backdrop. It can be something interesting or frightening if this silhouette is associated with different experiences.
I've thought of silhouettes as the opposite of reflection. It looks like an imprint of our existence. An outline of us being echoed in on the ground, walls or any platform that allows it to take shape. The silhouette moves as we take action and it changes in forms as the angles of light create a different perspective. Our thoughts are silhouettes of our past, present and future. It doesn't seem to be still, just like our thoughts. Maybe we want to modify the silhouette to present a specific perception, but in the end we find that it is not something we can always control.
Before digital and analog clocks came about, time was determined through the silhouette made on the surface and how the sun moved. It was typically a shadow shaped almost like a cone or pointy and narrow. We've seen our silhouette as the sun rose or set while we sat by the beach, with nature, or when we are doing outdoor activities. Even when we rode vehicles, we would see it on the pavement. When we are born, we are part of our parent's and our ancestor's silhouette. Our genetic makeup, the characteristics that we have, and how we behave leaves the imprint of past life onto us. It shapes our way of life and we take action through constant changes.
As I observe my own silhouette while riding the bicycle, it looks like a permanent non-talkative friend or extension of my body. It is always there playing with light. It also reminds me of Peter Pan and his shadow that needed to be found and attached back to him. It's a playful side of ourselves, playing pick a boo and then following everywhere we go. In many ways, we are not alone. It is intriguing to watch the silhouette from our surroundings. It creates that multi-dimensional view that we see during the day and at night.
When you have found a moment to pause, see if you can observe your silhouette more visually or symbolically. What do you see? What is your reaction when you see your silhouette? It is such a mysterious vision to observe. Is it thought-provoking? Do you start imagining what it could be and how you can change the shape? When I made sketches with pencil, charcoal or ink, it seems like I was created by hand with different silhouettes to print what my mind thought it saw. Instead of creating a mold with clay, I was printing my vision using sketches. Depending on my mood or what I experienced, there were imaginative and fun drawings. At times there were dark themes in the sketches that it made me wonder what I was thinking.
Investigate, play, experiment, be curious, and wonder. What does your silhouette look like? Take a pause, breathe, observe and be present. See yourself as you are. Life is a mystery worth discovering and continuing to support. Find the time to feed that curiosity, you never know what adventures you may find along the way.