Nella Freund

The Shadow Emerging

The shadow self sat there for many years, waiting like a tokoloshe, scaring me at night by appearing my dreams, showing myself to myself. Now the shadow is stepping into the morning light, pale sunbeams lighting her dark face, her features starting to glow.

My self takes a good look at my shadow self. I am startled: she is so like me; she is me, yet I do not know her.  She is the one who feels life to its utter depths, dark into hidden places, and she experiences ecstasies in highs I thought were forbidden. The connection runs deep, at a primal level: this is my twin, my alter ego. I cannot live without her; for to truly live, I need to embrace my shadow as part of me; caress her gently with the softness of a lover’s touch down my back.

I cry when I look at her. Where did you go? What made you so unwelcome that you had to stay locked away behind prison doors, barely gasping for breath? No wonder you’re inhaling the fresh scent of life now, turning your face towards the rising sun, letting its warmth recognize you. Dark steps into light, night turns into day and I watch this miraculous metamorphosis like a child lost in amazement.

The large orbit of the pale moon fades in the indigo sky as the sun’s tender morning rays lighten the darkness. I watch as a butterfly struggles from the grey cocoon within me. I wonder at her beauty and dare not touch her in case I break a fragile wing; prevent her from flying.

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