Friday, September 18, 2009

The Weight Of Those Before

Light has weight. Sure, it's small-infinitessimally small in fact-but it weighs down on you, just like cheeseburgers do on your body and regrets do on your conscience. For most of your life you will not notice this. Some of you might still even be silently arguing with me, thinking, "You're lying! Light doesn't have weight!" But it does. And it always has.
If you hadn't known this before, you will definitely notice it now, but not because you actually feel it but because you are expecting to feel it and your mind will tell you that you are feeling it, even though you aren't. I am guilty of this-especially on days when it is surprisingly hot. It feels like the sunglight is just pounding you relentlessly in the face, draining you of your energy. But this is not so much because of the weight of light but because of the heat of the sun rays. The weight of light is something we live with from the time we're born and we just accept it because we can bear it.
There is no weight to a shadow. A shadow represents an absence of light. They are sometimes useful on those really hot days when you find a shadow of a building to cool you off from the sun. But figuratively speaking, the shadows that do have weight, and the shadows which we stand in most of our lives, are the shadows of the ones that have gone before us. Those are the shadows that weigh us down. We don't actually feel it, just like the sunlight, but we think we do. It weighs us down and sometimes it wears us down.
Have you ever been in a dark lit room with another person who is standing far away, with a light shining behind them? Their shadows appear large, too big for any real person to fill. Sometimes their shadows take up the entire room. But if the person standing in the light began to walk towards you, their shadow begins to shrink until when they are standing in front of you, face-to-face, you look back and realize your own shadow is as big as theirs. Sometimes, when its right in front of you, you see things for what they are.
I have heard it said before that, "the rest of those that have gone before us, cannot steady the unrest of those that follow." People all over the world no doubt lose sleep every night, wondering what their deceased parents, grandparents, relatives, dear friends, or even childhood heroes would think of them if they could see how they were living their lives. Like the weight of light, it's a burden we all come to accept eventually. And we accept it because we can bear it. Maybe not at first, but no one is ever resigned to crawling their way through life, the load on their backs forever too heavy for them to carry upright. No, eventually, everyone finds a way.
It seems the closer you are to someone, the further away they are from you in this room of shadows, standing in front of the lights, their shadows bigger than life itself. We try to fill it. We stretch our bodies out this way and that but our efforts are futile and eventually we stop trying. In our minds, the shadows of the ones before us will always be unfillable except by those who filled them. This is something we all carry in one way or another. Eventually, we find a way. And if we're lucky, we might get to stand right in front of them once more, and upon looking back, come to the realization that we were just as big.

4 comments:

Amber said...

interesting post

Nene said...

This was an interesting post. I wish I knew the thoughts behind it. You are a great writer, I've always thought this.

Bullet for Babs said...

Subtlety makes for a great spice to writing but sometimes it veils your meaning. I was just trying to comment on how everyone is burdened by the expectations of people who are important to them in their lives.

Stace-Ghost said...

I gotcha. Good post and very true!