“In all the activities of life...our whole effort must be to get out of our own light.” -Aldous Huxley
Taken the day before the August solar eclipse, these photos of a long-favorite forest walk in Olympia, Washington got me thinking about the intersection of light and dark and how it's a symbolically and physically dynamic space. How the light punctuates the deep shadows, which are the greater substance in the frame. How the light is what more draws the attention, distracting from the peripheral shadows.
Shortly after, I came across the above quote by Aldous Huxley. It reminded me of these photos and also philosophically embodies my thoughts about growth and potential and how our shadow selves play an intrinsic role in those processes.
More and more I feel like our substance and depth, our largeness and potential, lies deep and wide outside the narrow focus of our own light, in the unexplored and undeveloped parts of ourselves that we are hesitant to engage. That our light is a boundary marker between our current limits and our untapped potential.
Not that "letting our inner light shine" isn't important, but to see it as only one facet of our development, to know it’s place in the expanse of our potential. Not to see it as the end-goal, but a jumping off point.
Following that thread, one could say that we hide in our light more than our shadows. With such cultural emphasis on "shining bright" we often end up fetishizing it, missing the greater opportunities that lie in the shadows, the uncomfortable edge places that can lead us to deeper wisdom and capabilities.
Anyhow, these photos are a visual metaphor for some things I've been thinking about lately as they relate to a different photo project I'm working on.
And Woodard Bay Conservation Area is a wonderful place to visit.