From the archives 2013

P1110792I woke this morning from little sleep to glorious sunshine and crawled blearily from my bed. Which was, of course, the most comfortable place in the world at that moment, even though last night it might as well have been a bed of nails. Odd, isn’t it, how the same thing can look so very different depending on how you feel at the time? Take the sunshine…if I was going out to play it would be a gorgeous day! If I were taking the camera out… not that I go anywhere without it, but you know what I mean… I would be delighted to have the backdrop of clear blue as a foil, for instance, to the mellow gold of old stone.

P1110834There is something about the stark contrast of the shadows thrown in sunlight, silhouettes dark against warm… that chiaroscuro created by the interplay of bright and sombre. It gives a scene life and texture…even when it is simply crumbling stone. Vistas of long empty spaces, punctuated by doors full of unknown and exciting possibilities yet painted on the canvas of memory, lead the eye and mind into adventure.

P1110770Imagination takes flight and spaces are populated with images and stories, flights of fancy or the quest for a deeper understanding of the vision before us. Thought meanders off at a tangent, exploring darkened doorways or gazing from the shadows to the clear sky framed above. Memories are created, images that take up residence in the mind, linking themselves inextricably with emotions and sensations, and the imprint of place remains long after the event has receded in time.

P1110813The darker the shadows, the greater the contrast, the brighter the light appears. Which, of course, is something we are all familiar with. Though even that, too, depends on how we feel at the time. We may only notice the shadows, diving or tiptoeing from one dark and unknown doorway to the next through a landscape painted by fear… wondering what monster may lurk around the corner, seeing only a tenebrous labyrinth. The bright patches on the ground then leave us feeling exposed and vulnerable and offer no respite, serving only to mark yet another threshold into the shadow that awaits.

P1110829Yet, of course, that light is cast from somewhere. Beyond the shadows there is a source of brightness. It is inescapable. The shadow is cast when something comes in between, blocking the sun. Yet there can be no shade without that source of light. It is always there. Shadows , no matter how deep, are intangible, they are effect, not cause and on the other side of the obstacle you can guarantee the sun is shining..

P1110795We may see the shadows and enjoy their cool respite from a sun too bright. We may be grateful for their softening of the marks of time upon our face. Perhaps they allow us to look up and see the source of light in all its beauty, glimpsed through a window. Sometimes, I think, they are just there so we can see it, be aware of it and understand its presence as we walk through the alternating brightness and shade, enjoying the adventure in all its twists and turns, looking back on the shadows from the warmth of the sun.

P1110759The photographs were all taken at Bolsover Castle in Derbyshire.

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She has written a number of books, both alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at and on Twitter @SCVincent Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email:
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18 Responses to Shadows

  1. willowdot21 says:

    Another place to visit! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. socialbridge says:

    Shadows are one of my passions, Sue, so thanks for this post.


  3. Noah Weiss says:

    I love the philosophy behind the last paragraph …


  4. Shadows are like gold for photographers. And a nice reminder that they are effect, not cause. Nice piece, Sue. 💝 Your language is so rich…”tenebrous labyrinth”. ☺


  5. lauramacky says:

    Beautiful shadows! What a place!


  6. Very interesting – I would love to visit!


  7. paulandruss says:

    What a haunting Place. Great photos and text


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