But it’s a Saying Nonetheless

It’s strange being a shadow, discreetly indiscreet, fitting into all kinds of nooks and crannies.  I’m there even when, having turned on lights, bright or dim, it appears I can’t be seen.  I’ve quite a store of sort of borrowed knowledge but it’s not much use really, unless I share it with the echoes who are my friends, not all of them are, but some.  I am sort of trapped in a sense, having to go to all kinds of places against my will, in a sense, not really having a will of my own, except when the person who’s had me trapped all my life sleeps.

I have contrarian sort of cousin who lives in mirrors, always reflecting things sort of backwards, left being right and right being left.  It lurks in all mirrors but can be conjured by only one person, and is trapped there, imitating that person until it’s dark, or the person goes away.  Evidently there is a quantum based centrality of sorts where reflections lurk, waiting to be summoned.  Kind of like shadows.  We shadows are sometimes invited to party there, unfortunately, we don’t tend to mix well, and notwithstanding what people think, we hate to be superimposed, especially as rabbits.

Not that we have anything against rabbits, or crocodiles, or the other images we are sometimes, well, all too often, forced to imitate.  But we are happy just being our two dimensional selves.  Thinking our two dimensional thoughts and dreaming our two dimensional dreams, but avoiding colors whenever we can.  When we can’t we subdue them, sort of.  It’s a sort-of sort of life being a shadow, but it’s okay; at least for now.

Is a cube merely a square squared?  Or a sphere merely a circle escaped into the three dimensional world.  More likely a circle abducted and tortured into three dimensionality.  Indeed, we shadows seem to shadow almost all three dimensional objects, beings and non-beings alike.  We believe that we existed first, when the multiverse only had two dimensions, but that’s a hard hypotheses to prove.  Still, it may be our greatest religious belief and they don’t require proof.  Only faith.

It may be that at least one of us has escaped, or blundered into the three dimensional world because they sometimes seem to believe that one among us knows a great deal, perhaps everything.  They have a refrain: “who knows what lurks in the hearts, of men, to which they answer: ‘the shadow knows’”.  There’s a sort of similar saying among us which we apparently share with three dimensional beings: “who knows what the future will bring”.  But as far as I know, none of us has ever met that “who knows”, so none of us knows if it even exists. 

But it’s a saying nonetheless.

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2022; all rights reserved.  Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.

Guillermo (“Bill”) Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia (although he has primarily lived in the United States of America of which he is also a citizen).  Until 2017 he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales.  He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation and linguistic studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies).  He can be contacted at guillermo.calvo.mahe@gmail.com and much of his writing is available through his blog at https://guillermocalvo.com/.

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