There are days I feel I am a shadow of my former self. What I used to do and what I used to be have been slowly shedding away. I don’t know when it started. I don’t think I knew it was happening. My world got smaller and smaller and so did I. Like a bright colour, over time, I’ve faded.
When did it happen? How did I let it? How do I get myself back? I remember reading “The Stone Angel” when I was in high school and that image struck me as an image that was so powerful. I remember the character in the story (Margaret Lawrence, I believe) was aging and she felt she was no longer “her”. I wonder if that is happening to me?
If I were to walk in the sun, I would want to see my shadow – firmly planted on the ground. I want to see the outline and the depth. It must be dark and crisp and fluid. In that way, I know I still exist.
There is no sun today and I remain unsure if I can be seen. What defines my image now? When there is no shadow – what is my shape? If the image of my emotions were to cast a shadow, I don’t know what I’d see. I would be almost afraid to look. Yet I want to. I want to fix me. I want to be whole again. I want to be – not young – but I want to be “me”.
To sing. To dance. To run.
Where did I go?
I cook. I clean. Repeat. Yet. I can see nothing else at this moment. I am a woman in the kitchen. Yet. I feed. I provide. I give. I love. I nurture. Who is this person to me? The image looks so familiar.
Then it dawned on me that sometimes, when the sun casts a light on me, I see that I the shadow of my mother standing within me. Oh, how I have come to know her so well as I age. I understand her pain. I understand her struggles and I understand her love. Has she awakened in me to become me? Have I gone to sleep and she is supporting me, encouraging me to take shape once again?
She comforts me still. She supports me still. She loves me still. And I can rejoice that when I see my image on the ground, she is what fills the holes and completes me still. I may be a mere shadow of myself afterall, but as long as I can walk with her, I have hope to be “me” once more.