Reflections: Words and Shadows

I am having trouble finding words but this is not a time for silence, yet what words to choose.

Words are known to return readily–especially in tweets–but more than reminders of past usage, with words we turn life inside out and upside down in search of…? Whatever it is we don’t have.

I read an article by Karen Attiah (Washington Post) about giving up on hope but embracing its shadow. Hope is not a word I use often, it’s fuzzy, but living in “the shadow of hope” gives it shape, possibility.

Like that moment when “the dark night of the soul” lifts, “when everything is lost, and all seems in darkness, then comes the new life and all that is needed” (Joseph Campbell)*.

Having emerged from more than a few dark nights of the soul, I do not remember the “new life” as immediately revealed. In retrospect, yes, but in that moment–the shadow of hope–the world looks anything but new, maybe even older, but then, it hasn’t changed. I have.

My words are different, their sense and sound. Many are still comfortable, okay overused, but they have grown a bit–connotations discovered–in this “new life,” I find other ways to words I thought I knew.

Words matter because they never leave. Whether or not they will haunt, it’s that they can. Words reveal and hide us, sometimes simultaneously. Maybe that is living in “the shadow of hope.”

*Joseph Campbell, A Joseph Campbell Companion: Reflections on the Art of Living.(Copyright © 1991 Joseph Campbell Foundation), p. 39.

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity a dose at a time. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.

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