I wrote a prayer to go with this photo of shadows. Here are some steps I took along the way.
“You don’t judge us, good Lord,
by the shape of our shadows,
the images made of us,
or what people say.
You see us as we are.
Your light reveals all
and redeems every imperfection
we shudder to see.”
Photo of the shadows of four friends and Barry Flanagan’s bronze sculpture “The Drummer” at the Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C. Photo and prayer copyright 2013 by Danny N. Schweers, http://www.photoprayer.com/
Accidentally, I hit the wrong button in Photoshop and the negative of the above image appeared, making the shadows light. Is this a better image?
Before finishing the prayer, I wrote the following as I worked with different ideas. Any appeal to you?
“Fear is the enemy unless it’s of God. Millions in prison, billions for defense, security cameras on every corner, every eye wary, every ear cocked. Will our fear be the death of freedom?”
“King David feared his enemies and ran. Some people are afraid of their shadows. Carl Jung liked to explore the shadows of his psyche and encouraged his patients to do the same.”
“Geometry: all objects cast shadows unless they are totally surrounded by light or are lit from within (like Tracy Samantha Lord in the Philadelphia Story).”
“Plato’s Cave: shadows as metaphor for the dim outlines we take to be truth.”
“I like the final prayer, but was intrigued by the reference to Plato’s cave in your thoughts prior to this prayer. Any way to marry the two? The reversed-out photo is interesting. Might be good to use it. Maybe that’s how we see ourselves, while God sees the real us. This inverse image might put more emphasis on the misreading of ourselves that we do.” -Barbara H.
“I like it in black, and I like the words under the black image. It is fascinating to me to see the layers of preparation you take before releasing these images and poetry to the world.” -Mary L.
“I like the positive image better than the negative, and I like the words under it. The image made me laugh.” -Bill M.
“In Macbeth, Shakespeare says, ‘Life’s but a walking shadow,’ and signifies nothing, but we are made in the image of God. Is not our shadow, then, the shadow of the image of God? That signifies everything.” -Bob C.
“I LOVE this photo!!!!!! I thought “Bugs Bunny playing basketball.’ Very, very nice! Both versions are really cool. I am inspired to take a photo like this next time I visit a statue, I hope the sun will cooperate with me!” -Rachel S.
“This photo reminds me that we can only really see our own shadows. How often do we have distorted perceptions about what we’re actually like? We think we’re one way, but are in reality entirely different. Others can see us by our actions, facial expressions, in ways that we can’t. We rely on good people to help us see ourselves when we’re blind to our own actions. That’s my take on it. All that being said, I do love these photos!” -Alex R.
Author’s Final Comments
Looking again at the prayer, I’m glad you, like God, see me lovingly.