what the shadow knows

shadowShadow knows its purpose; it seeks to make the unconscious conscious, it tries to tell us its secrets. Our job is to learn how to listen and to discover our shadow’s purpose.” – Leigh Pobst

Following a sequence of topics suggested by Julia Cameron in The Artist’s Way, we started an investigation of our shadow selves in writing group last Thursday evening. It was a surprisingly lively discussion, given we had three new participants and a shadow from the previous week to address while reinforcing our circle agreements.

Yes, as always in these circles, routine and consistency prevailed. We moved on through the opening poem, which stirred a surprising amount of resonance with the seven writers present. It was ‘From Out of the Cave’ by Joyce Sutphen, opening and closing with the following lines:

When you have been/at war with yourself/for so many years that/
you have forgotten why… 

then you wake,/you stumble from your cave,/blinking in the sun,/
naming every shadow/as it slips.

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