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Did you know Shadows could tell tales?
Sometimes it tells you yours and at other times it feigns silence,
like a reticent spectator taking little notes on life.
I have been on an eternal quest to befriend my shadow,
but this relationship has been a hard one to decipher.
Some days, I’d like to be a shadow to my shadow,
watching over its mellow movements as it appears and disappears.
Other days, I see it as a teller of tales; My tale.
A considerate storyteller
in how it refuses to show the fine lines
that crease my face as I age
and always walks at my pace
even as my feet grow weary.
But I can increasingly see the unevenness of its ways;
This flake of light that somehow weighs on my shoulder
even as it slips through the gaps between my fingers.
As I pick my battles and find my way,
I see in my shadow a reluctant companion,
that no longer walks, but lurks at a distance.
As it engulfs the bits and pieces of my life,
the growing weight of this shadow, almost unbearable,
remains by my side
like the bitter aftertaste of my life.
Today, as I sit down to draw the lines of this relationship
I’m reminded of a distant memory,
of a friend who told me,
“I was you and you were me.”
But we aren’t the same, are we?
Only a well-practiced lie, a successful deception.
The shadow in which I sought
the playfulness of the morning light
would rather wrap around me like the miserable gloom of overcast days.
The incongruence of this relationship lay bare
even as I swore we were two parallel planes .
As dust gathers on my unmade bed,
a cold desolation settles down, trailing me like an incessant itch
that I refuse to acknowledge.
The desolation makes way to the bottom of my feet
revealing a whirlpool of stories;
Stories that carry my words
and the sourness of my life,
nevertheless, not completely me.
A shadow is a shadow, a sliver of truth,
but never a reflection.
It holds traces of my life, innumerable tales.
Yet, it is not the narrator.
The struggles woven into me
are mine alone,
a life staggeringly threaded together into poetry,
to be interpreted and recited
by me alone.
There are few things as beautiful as
the gradual grasp of a Truth that holds onto
your hand for sheer survival and my Truth was here and now,
to be held and believed.
Caught in the beguiling gaze of my shadow,
I had failed to see the light that cast it.
I mistook my shadow for light itself
when it was merely the absence of light.
My shadow, an intrepid shapeshifter,
which made me see and unsee myself
was powerless without me.
A failed sorcerer who refused to see that
the shape I took was the only one it could ever take.
Min Yoongi’s “Interlude: Shadow” came into my life as a challenge to confront my own little tales that lay unsettled underneath my feet. Prior to this encounter, my tryst with words had come to a long pause. Moreover, there was a deep discomfort in how I chose not to engage with myself and my own words. “Underneath These Feet” is my effort to prod at those shadow lines that accompany us, almost a companion yet a constant cause of disconcertion, a persistent partner yet infuriatingly intangible.
Writer/researcher of few words found along the Arabian Sea coast (India).
Illustration By: Kanad, @kanadmandke (Instagram)
Sahar. (2021). Underneath these feet. The Rhizomatic Revolution Review , (3). https://ther3journal.com/issue-3/underneath-these-feet.
Sahar. “Underneath These Feet.” The Rhizomatic Revolution Review , no. 3, 2021, https://ther3journal.com/issue-3/underneath-these-feet.
Underneath These Feet by Sahar is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.