Dear Mr Alien,
it’s been a while since we last spoke and for that I apologise my friend, how has the universe been treating you? Any intergalactic skirmishes or space storms we need to know about? No. Well keep me updated, wouldn’t want to be the last to know about any meteorite on a collision course with earth now, how embarrassing right?
These last few days I’ve been caught up with my photography which equals early early mornings & semi late nights, chasing that all important light. My photographic adventures have led to missions on the mountains, bodacious sunrises on the beach, cavalier city shooting and unfortunately some danger. More about this danger in an upcoming post me thinks, wouldn’t want to bum you out with stories of my possible imminent harm or death.
Back to the theme of the post, silhouettes, one of my favourite techniques to shoot as it automatically adds an element of mystery to one’s photos as well as highlighting the beauty of the surroundings by removing the details from your subject. Mr Alien a silhouette is defined as “the image of a person, animal, object or scene represented as a solid shape of a single colour, usually black” saying quite a bit without much information, leaving your thoughts to run free.
Looking through some of the potential photos I was planning to submit a thought struck me about how a silhouetted photo of oneself could be used as a metaphor for the darker side to our personalities. Yes we all would like to think that we are the best next thing since sliced bread, but in actual fact we have undesirable qualities that come with the beauty of being human beings. These undesirable qualities are usually described by words like jealousy, avarice, gluttony, spite, the list goes on and on.
Since birth we have been taught to quell such feelings, lest we book ourselves a one way ticket to that dreaded place called “hell”, where you are forced to listen to Telkom’s customer service jingles while simultaneously being itchy in a spot you cannot reach for eternity. Or at very least being labelled as a “not nice person”. Carl Jung addressed this as being our “Shadow Self”, the aspects and traits about yourself that you find difficult if not completely disturbing to accept. Often described as the darker side of our psyche it represents the wildness, chaos and all round unpredictability that too dwells inside of us.
But instead of denying this aspect of being human I am here to tell you that only by embracing these qualities in ourselves, acknowledging and accepting them as an integral part of self can we truly see the light within which we would all love to be living. You know that place where unicorns poop rainbows and tiny bunny rabbits and deer greet you good morning with a song? Yeah me neither. Ok ok Mr Alien yes I am embellishing a bit but my readers will understand where I am coming from, we’ve all had days where colours are just brighter, the air crisper and we even find listening to what passes as music on the radio enjoyably bearable.
So next time you find yourself having darker thoughts, don’t suppress these feelings but rather take heed of them, where they are coming from, what caused these feelings, internalise and introspect and ultimately use them as motivation to live a fuller more authentic existence. We are who we are, light and dark, good and bad, we just are.
Always watching the stars,