Descent into Shadow

A few hours ago I'd woken from one of those long dreams that consumes the night like a glowing-hot fever. Before retiring for the evening, I'd put the finishing touches on today's image. My work has been getting darker as of late, both literally and emotionally. While working on it, the image felt dreamlike, a journey into shadow. It must have activated something because the dream was very much as you see it in the photo.

The dream was a long hike in the dark, a path poorly illuminated and filled with animals of the wild. Meaty stuff. It makes me think of the artistic quest. That too has beasts in the dark, lurking in the shadow. Like the rambling dream, the artistic process has a life of its own and is stubborn to change. Things tend to recur until they are worked through to some kind of completion. The process peers into shadows and under trees, uprooting settled topsoil like a pig looking for truffles.

The artist is always looking for juiciness in the process, the moments when nerves are raw, senses are keen, and dreams are lucid. They are all too brief, as if the universe reveals itself and then folds the unconcealed over, back into the depth of the grand mystery. It is hardly summer but the following quote by Lysander from A Midsummer Night's Dream seems apropos.

Swift as a shadow, short as any dream,
Brief as the lightning in the collied night,
That, in a spleen, unfolds both heaven and earth,
And ere a man hath power to say, — Behold!
The jaws of darkness do devour it up:
So quick bright things come to confusion.