These images were completed in early 2017. I have been thinking about light and shadows a great deal, and writings about them. A poem by Rumi where he is having a conversation with God resonated with me and inspired the first photo:
“I said: what about my eyes?
He said: Keep them on the road.
I said: What about my passion?
He said: Keep it burning.
I said: What about my heart?
He said: Tell me what you hold inside it?
I said: Pain and sorrow.
He said: Stay with it. The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”
I love light, both its physical and spiritual properties. In the Rumi poem there is an indication that suffering has a purpose, that there is a greater meaning to what humans and other life forms experience on earth. Viktor Frankl wrote in Man's Search for Meaning, “In some way, suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning, such as the meaning of a sacrifice.”
My self-portrait work has explored trauma and suffering. I have begun to believe that life doesn't happen to me, rather it happens for me and my job is simply to discover what the benefit, or greater meaning is in a given circumstance or situation. Thanks to Tony Robbins for that insight. I am a bit of a self-improvement junkie . . . ironically enough.
The second image is an homage to Plato's Allegory of the cave, particularly the excerpt, "On the walls of the cave, only the shadows are the truth." I don't know about everyone else in the universe, but I find myself suffocated in so much information that it's like just watching shadows dancing on the wall and I'm incapable of grasping them, or seeing the figures for what they really are because of the endless barrage of noise and media and options and opinions! I long for inner peace and am finding that difficult to achieve with my focus bent on external noise. I want to face the light and find my personal truth as we all must to continue to grow, ideally in love, compassion, and oneness.
Those are my inspirations, these two photos are a good start for where I want to go studying light and shadows, physically and metaphysically.