|"Shadows on the Water", oil, by Nigel Fletcher
It sometimes seems like I've spent most of my life in daydreams -- spellbound, you might say, by shadows instead of delighting in the light. I've been so fascinated by forms, things, objects, and thingamajigs that I've been blind to the beauty that sits behind those passing fancies. I've been sitting in the shade, so to speak, instead of living out where the sun shines. Plato wrote about this centuries ago, and it's strange to see that, thousands of years later, I'm living, at least in some ways, the life he belittled. I don't mean to make it seem like I'm locked up in some mental prison that makes life a losing proposition, because, in fact, I'm as happy now as a person can probably be. I just somehow sense that more light -- more shimmering wisdom than I have ever conceived of -- waits for me to discover it, and all I have to do is open my eyes. After all these years, I still have't yet seen many of the stunning aspects of reality, the sunshine that spreads behind and beyond the insignificant things with which I so often busy myself. I've been dazzled by shadows, I guess, but now, at 71, it's time to turn toward the light.