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  • MUSIC ::: "Tilikum" by Benjamin Frances

Long Shadows, Deep Shadows

Dear Shadow, I’ve met quite a few of you in my time here, in this body, throughout this cycle. I’ve tried to fight you, hide you, turn you into lies. I’ve tried to cover you in chocolate, cherries and corduroy… . . . in childhood memories of were-wolves and magic horses with two wheels.

I’ve tried to change you with worlds of witchy spells and swamp adventures.

I’ve tried to smile you out with summer lovers, and drown you out with laughter and whiskey.

I’ve tried to blind you with the light of bigger dreams and numb you with bruises of swollen skin and cocaine.

I’ve tried a lot of things.

And there you always were, right where I was, mimicking me from just beyond my periphery.

It took 28 years for me to look you in the eyes and (really) realize that you were just protecting me, carrying the weight of the darkness all on your own, giving me the space to breathe and grow and regain my strength. Find stable ground. Mountain pose.

And I owe you for that.

I think it’s come time to shake it off and shake your hand and share the weight of it all for the rest of the road ahead. Shake it off. Howl at the moon. Show my gratitude to you for saving this little lost girl from collapsing underneath it all.

I owe you one * * * Despite the unknowns that cause us to fear the dark, our shadows are just scared versions of ourselves, holding the weight of our tragedies so we don’t have to before we’re ready.

But eventually, (and probably not at a time of our convenient choosing), the basement door leaks the sound of the struggling shadow and we are pushed to finally face it all with the fullness of our consciousness. And in the integration of our Selves to ourselves we find the nourishment that allows the wisdom of all those experiences to bud into bigger and more collective world views.

I found the power to love my shadow somewhere on an open road (OK, maybe it was a river).

Sarah Riding in Death Valley

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