Shadows and Dyeing with Dandelion

16 May

OK. Shadows. Thinking about shadows. How shadows create dimension. Form. Meaning. How shadows can’t exist without light–whether it’s the light of the sun or the light of consciousness directed inward–casting light into those interior spaces that can be easily ignored–for a while at least. The shadow side. Rich with the stuff that has to be reckoned with. Acknowledged. Polished. Burnished. Cleaned up/recycled and/or discarded. All of that–but not ignored–at least not w/out paying a price.

The shadow side. Here’s an admission. For a long time I pretended I didn’t have a shadow side. And I smile now with this confession. Then later, I struggled against it–for a LONG time. And now? Let’s just say and it’s much easier to welcome than to resist. And funny how the welcoming diffuses its power.

I’m wondering why I’m even talking about this now. So I may or may not leave the first two paragraphs since I really intended to talk about shadows in terms of–photographing baskowls. Most of my pics have them looking like flat saucers. And although my frustration in the past has centered on getting the color right, there was ALWAYS the other issue of depth. How to show depth. And as I write that word–depth–I’m so drawn back to my first thoughts. How our shadow sides can also be equated with depth. Bowls and souls. And shadows.

Again, I had no intention of going here. So I’m stopping right now. But wondering, do these images help? Do the shadows help give a sense of depth and dimension? And the dinner plate? Does it help?

DSC03048 - Copy - Copy



And some dandelion dyeing going on here. Not a huge fan of yellow–but a fan of color–and always a fan of the alchemy that happens. Expected or not. So, dandelions, red onion skins, peony leaves–old damask soaked in vinegar for a few minutes, wrapped and left overnight.


15 Responses to “Shadows and Dyeing with Dandelion”

  1. Liz May 16, 2015 at 10:51 am #

    My vote goes to the shadows, but the plate not so much.

    You and Jude are making me wish for dandelions (how funny is that?) … but I’d call that green rather than yellow (on my screen anyway)


  2. Patricia May 16, 2015 at 11:05 am #

    thanks Liz. i agree–the plate doesn’t tell much at all. and probably distracts. no dandelions in Texas?


    • Liz May 16, 2015 at 8:17 pm #

      Not compared to Virginia, but the few dandelions we have are Texas-sized


  3. user107055 May 17, 2015 at 8:58 am #

    dandelions are everywhere here…driving into town we stopped and laughed at a field..not yet planted for this year where every furrow was so full of yellow that it looked like a crop all unto its own..they run riot in the ditches…i think of the suburbia in delaware where so many people are..i know..spending this weekend busy eradicating them…such different worlds..where i grew up in california the spring yellow was always wild mustard plants but here it is simply millions of dandelions.

    .i don’t think the baskowls need the plates..and i think the time you sat them ..upside down on the windowsill..on the ledge was it?? gave a truly lovely idea of the different depths they does filling them..actually i think they look beautiful no matter which way you photograph them and so i feel as if it sounds as if aim not paying attention to your quest..i am this case i like just color more than shadow..

    shadow selves are strange aren’t they..i never felt as if i hid mine..just felt as if people did not choose to see it…nice and good being way easier to deal with..people who love me know how real it is…and how like the shadows cast by the sun or well.. any changes depending on so many things..becoming so large..diminishing down to nothing..sometimes that depth is so full of fear and the unknown …and sometimes it is so simply offering relief from all the light..a place to stay for awhile

    gentle day patricia


    • Patricia May 17, 2015 at 9:15 am #

      i so appreciate you taking the time to respond here. thank you. and i’m glad you mentioned the pic of the upside down baskowls. because i think that gives a good idea of depth as well, so maybe i’ll include one upside image with each into-the-spiral shot.

      i really hesitated yesterday to talk about shadow side. and i feel as though i didn’t hone in on it accurately. i will think about this later…what i was really trying to say about my shadow side. right now i’m noticing the dance in my head–it’s a little one–what Grace/Sharon call add-ons i think. but i feel committed to clarification without spinning story about how my comments may or may not have been interpreted. and laughing as i say that because, really, does it matter? really? love to you


      • grace May 17, 2015 at 2:29 pm #

        does it really matter?, no. not really….we can always ASK a question, can’t we, if we want to understand better….
        and in Jungian world, there is also the concept of a Bright Shadow…a B side
        that is BRIGHT and just as hidden sometimes, just
        as a less uhhhh, somehow, accepted self…i always loved that possibility….
        i am at some point where i will give voice to everything, having
        most become weary of Not Telling not so much in my self but
        all around me in this world…
        and Salzberg’s voice…her VOICE, i love it in an inordinate way…
        how she says things…her tone, her LACK of uhhhhwhat??? her
        lack of affectation…how she says it’sok…kind of softly run together, it’sok

        i love it best when the shadow can be seen inside the basket as
        so evident in the first photograph…maybe take them OutSide?
        and the plate, no, i agree, no plate.

        your cloth is
        your cloth is so very Finely ItsSelf…..i have yet to dye.

        and back to your first paragraph…Sharen would say Why not
        just do Metta? for it, ? including all parts of self in our first
        Do you think? Do you think she would say that too?


        • Patricia May 17, 2015 at 4:20 pm #

          thanks for being here Grace. thanks for being here. so
          i’m ready to put this shadow stuff to bed. or at least rename it. maybe just “stuff” would suffice. the implication of “shadow” conjured up a negative aspect of self that results from judgment–shadow as opposed to light–negative/positive–when in fact, it would be impossible to have one without the other. right, there it is again. the wholeness of being that cannot be dissected without losing some thing essential. i’m really blathering. mainly wanted to send you big big love.


    • grace May 17, 2015 at 2:07 pm #

      shadow can be shade…yes


  4. grace May 17, 2015 at 2:49 pm #

    I walked away after typing the above and stitched some more on the mask of protection of being eaten alive by shoulds, and had another gleam of understanding, that as a
    child, i did, i think have a “side” that i kept hidden, or really, kept private and well,
    safe, and that side was


    • Patricia May 17, 2015 at 4:08 pm #

      i can imagine that…the Bright private part…hell bent on self preservation…as it had to be.


  5. Mo Crow May 18, 2015 at 3:38 pm #

    like Grace said photograph the bowls outside in good morning light to get some good shadow play, and love that you didn’t acknowledge your shadow for a long time! I really didn’t like the orange of the womb chakra so I would just sort of ignore it in meditations, moving quickly from the red of the root chakra at the base of the spine bypassing the womb straight up to the gold of the solar plexus & made everything from that point of strong will for a very long time… since I had my womb removed in 2009 I am much more comfotable with working with orange and my heart is a lot lighter for making the connection, we do learn with time… eventually…


    • Patricia May 19, 2015 at 8:28 am #

      you’ve given me a lot to think about here. orange–a color i have an interesting relationship with. aversion/attraction simultaneously. and womb. mine is still intact (as far as i know) but moving energy into it has always been a challenge. easier to bypass and go straight to the root–then crown. but slowly the dots are connecting.


  6. Jan May 20, 2015 at 11:04 pm #

    hi ladies, I’m a bit late joining this part of the conversation, and interested in what has been said about color. . .aversion to orange. . .lately I have decided it so much depends on what shade of a particular color is presented or visualized. . .do we allow ourselves to find the ‘orange’ that resonates for us personally?. . .it isn’t a onesizefitsall color. regarding shadow side. . .after working with all that unpleasant feeling stuff. . .allowing it to rise and fall. . .my understanding of the shadow. . .my own. . .is the place of possibilities. . .the void which can be positive or negative depending on what we choose to draw from it. it can be unrealized potential and the place where seeds are stored or germinated. . .just thoughts. . .


    • Patricia May 21, 2015 at 11:15 am #

      hi Jan. i do agree with you that shade of color makes a huge difference. during the 60’s i painted all of my furniture orange and purple. a wonderful shade of orange. wish i still had it. and just looking at paint chips at the hardware confirms the spectrum and scope of this comment. i guess i was thinking a certain shade but not sure how i’d describe it…going yellow i suppose. thanks for your comment.


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