Substance and Shadows
[A Retrospective] Often times what we perceive as grand, whether great in size or some more intangible sense of stature, lose their grandeur when our perspective changes. Those changes come with distance, expressed in time or space, and the objects of our attention become visually dwarfed or spiritually stunted as we move further away from their shadows. As we take to the air, escaping earthly shadows, we gain a new perspective.
Substance matters. High above the shadow of Angel’s Landing and Zion National Park, though dwarfed in size, it’s greatness can still be imagined. It draws us in. We seek to explore and long to experience the summit, the elevated perspective, the majesty. Our diorama-like view is the beginning of this experience sparked by curiosity and fueled by color, contour, and the tactile sensation of the climb…our spiritual journey begins.
The shadows cast by man, in contrast, are temporal and insignificant. Our delusions of grandeur are laid bare when we weigh our shadows and realize that without substance, our presence is mere illusion. Time and space divide us and we fade away, while Earth and all her monuments remain a testimony to what has come before and what will follow. The real gifts are not apparent in what we see, but in how we see…curiosity and imagination…spark and fuel…memory and projection. These gifts are our substance and differentiation.
Your writing is very beautiful. And I agree, the shadows cast by man are so insignificant compared to those cast by nature and the universe. I guess we are too afraid of that, so we tell ourselves lies. Most of our existences are built on illusions, as you said, which is why we always change materialistic pursuits: in order to ground our elusive realities.
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