Lines & Shadows

Lines and shadows are everywhere. Lines are drawn from one point to another or to represent something seen or imagined. Lines are written to convey very much the same. Shadows represent light, and dark, and give depth of meaning. But lines also represent time, movement, shape, distance, condition . . . and any amount of combinations and permutations of those elements. Shadows, too, can represent the same. We can look at a picture and the lines might be the first thing to stand out, but if we look deeper, think more broadly, we see beyond the lines. Shadows are usually thought of an obvious play between a light and a barrier to light, but can't it also reflect a time past, or a thought distant? In my photos, I've noticed that I tend to place the obvious lines on the right of the frame, with the less obvious on the left. The first thing that comes to mind as I recognize this is that the right brain is for feelings visualization, imagination, intuition, rhythm, holistic thinking and the arts while the left brain is for thinking in words, sequencing, linear thinking, mathematics, facts and logic while (from https://www.healthline.com/health/left-brain-vs-right-brain). This might seem counter-intuitive on the surface, but if I introduce shadows (actual or conceptual) into the process, and I acknowledge that in these types of pictures my eyes generally move from right to left, I begin to see the picture as a whole . . . a combination of picture and word, movement from feeling and imagination to thinking and reasoning. I do the same with writing in terms of starting with the sense of something and move, left if you will, to the description of it. In other words, taking something from picture to word. As I pass the 35 page mark on my second novel, I find that I've been painting the picture in broad strokes, getting the idea down, then I go back not just to edit and refine but to clarify and enliven. The key questions become Do you see it? and Can you feel it? through the words only . . . am I articulating the picture through the words?

Theresienstadt Ghetto, Terezin, Czech Republic

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