Thursday, September 17, 2009


This picture calls to me this morning because of what's there and what actually isn't there. The shadow is a passing play of light, an indication that something real exists but in another space. The colorful wall is actually there but largely obscured by the shadow which will soon be gone. What in our lives is real and what is shadow?

Right now a friend is in the hospital dealing with a health condition he has faced his entire adult life. He is strong and vital yet this shadow of disease regularly passes across his life. The shadow isn't him and yet it changes the picture of his life and sometimes obscures the colorful self behind the shadow. What I'm grappling with this morning is how does he ... how do we ... stay connected to our colorful true self when the very solar system we live in casts shadows that distort our lives? How do we determine what is shadow and what is self?

At any one moment, the picture of our lives is part shadow and part solid wall. It seems all too easy to be distracted by the passing shadow, the drama of the ever-shifting reflection of people, things and conditions around us and, thereby, lose touch with the foundation of who we actually are. It reminds me of a time-lapse video of fast-moving traffic in a large city. The shadows of our lives pass so rapidly about us that they become all we see ... the furious motion, the dark, moving shapes, the speeding intangibility. Until we just want to cry, "Stop!" and quietly acknowledge each colorful, solid brick in the reality of our lives.

Today I intend to focus on that wall of colorful bricks of self rather than on the myriad of shadows that have projected themselves across my life in the recent past. I am also reminded that there are many unpainted bricks on that wall and that I can choose new colors and continue to paint those bricks.

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