Recasting Your Shadow
What’s big is small; what’s small is big.
I say that. And I mean it. I use it in context quite often to help grasp the enormity of the power of the universe within each tiny moment. It means that if everything that exists is energy, the smallest interaction with the force that’s being witnessed at this moment is but a mirror for all that surrounds us. It’s a universal law just like the one that states that an object in motion stays in motion until acted upon by an equal and opposite force. Every concept of physics applies, be it a marble rolling down a track or a civilization taking a painful step toward re-evaluation.
What’s big is small; what’s small is big. If it’s happening around you, it’s happening to you.
Sometimes those words come back to haunt me.
I’ve set aside a few hours to help him. His truck broke down. Again. Now he needs me to follow him home from the garage where he spent the better part of a day making a rushed repair.
I don’t mind.
I don’t mind when he pushes that truck to the brink of destruction and, a hair shy of catastrophic failure, throws a few repairs its way in a stressful, time-crunched display of apparent fortitude. I know it’s a reaction to certain stimulus. I see the effort of a desperate man disguised as an act of a hero. The fact remains, a vehicle won’t last forever. It’s mechanical. Death is a natural progression. It’s common sense, really. It won’t last forever because it can’t. It simply cannot endure the frequent torture asked of it. And it’s really showing its age.
As I sit here I slouch. I seldom breathe. It’s like I’m pulling the weight of the world while holding my breath. I stop eating, stop exercising, stop bathing. I seek no means of empowerment, afraid that the least among these will tip the scale past something I can’t take back. So I waste away, shrunken skin and tense joints a testament to the stress that holds me in its embrace, knowing full well, what truly has me entombed is fear.
Fear is always a factor.
I wrote that. Months ago. Fear is always a factor. The part I’ve forgotten is: succumbing to it is not an option. But the options that exist outside that which I fear are decidedly scary.
Now that’s a conundrum.
We have no idea what the next moment will bring—absolutely none. Even with the greatest meteorological equipment, technological advances, long-range planning and psychic predictions, great storms of expansion and regression occur without notice.
I watch as his truck furls forth a fog of exhaust from its rattling rusted mass, the distinction between potential and disenchantment a great divide; the looming confrontation with my fear outrunning me like a high-speed chase.
I used to be a Ferrari. Now I’m a Pinto. You probably don’t remember those. I didn’t think I did either. This is
how it happens. Disillusion. It looks completely different than it does in the movies and it feels a whole lot worse. In any case, it’s what this moment is reduced to.
Here’s my question: if what I feel right now, watching the concern on his face as he asks the squeaky hinges to open, is a complete loss of faith, how am I to embrace anything different from my intentions, my visions, my dreams?
What’s big is small; what’s small is big.
By the rule, I’ll never discover anything different. It’s an impossibility. Whether the dynamic between us destroys the energy I need to get what I want, or if it’s what is simply called fate, it doesn’t resonate with how I want to feel.
Or does it?
Did it just happen or have I made it happen?
Have I allowed it to happen?
Did I lose sight of my intentions or did he more strongly set course for the alternative?
I reflect. Some people are annoyed when I dwell in the past. Some say it’s not healthy, but it’s damn sure handy to reevaluate the past when you’ve come full circle on another sphere of insanity and you demand to know how it happened again.
And I demand to know. Or at least I think I do. But when the only option that keeps floating to the top of this cesspool of feelings is the one that scares the shit out of me, I scramble to outsmart the obvious.
That truck has to be replaced. The purpose it served was long ago outlived. In this moment, however, the uncertainty with what the replacement will look like is more intimidating than the decrepit structure that sits in its place. The cost of regular, monthly payments outnumbers the expense of spontaneous breakdowns. How often is present unreliability chosen over possible dependability because the fear of what is here now outweighs the fear surrounding what isn’t?
What if its replacement is bigger than a simple mode of transportation?
What’s small is big. To break away from one requires breaking free from all—all the useless thoughts and things, not just one here and there. I’ve missed the cumulative effects of a few unwanted moments, thinking I was strong enough to reach the light when anchored in shadows.
One night the moon was so bright it cast the shadow of a tree. But when I looked closer, two shadows appeared from the same trunk. Then I noticed I was cloned too. The yard light was competing with the moon, each casting a shadow—one bold and one faint. Both the tree and I existed in duality. In one, I was potential, in the other reality.
Was it potential or reality that emerged more vivid?
If every moment is the author of what currently “is,” and the catalyst for all that comes, suddenly fear doesn’t look so bad.
Or so big.