Light and Shadow

Shadow, you get a bad time of it in our world. What I don’t like about me, I hide within you, and I become stranger to myself, and you become what I don’t know that I don’t know about me.

I nail my specter to the ground, imprisoning my secrets on the face of the earth, leaning between light and the secrets the light is trying to reveal to the known world.

At midday, when the light’s directly overhead, I am shadowless, but naked before all the judgment I fear comes from the world, but in the end comes only from me.

In contemplation of the light, I lose my sense of self, but not my self. For the light doesn’t absorb body or soul any more than I would the object of all my love. In meditation on its radiance, I forget about myself for a while. Having run from its dark secrets all my life, I finally lose all shadow when I forget to judge myself.

Finally, I embrace the ghost, careening headlong into the haunting darkness only to discover that it concealed nothing. Almost anything I do is like a zero weighed against the lengths I’ll go to hide my secrets from the world, and from myself.

Shadow, when will I stop being afraid of the lower depths, when your darkness hides only light.

© 2021 by Michael C. Just

Mike’s novel, The Dirt: The Journey of a Mystic Cowboy, is available in softcover or eBook formats through Amazon.

You can purchase the book through this website. Or go straight to amazon at

Mike’s other titles, including The Crippy, The Mind Altar, and Canyon Calls, are available through this website or through Amazon at

Four of his short stories have recently been published online:

Lies, Ltd. has been published by The Mystery Tribune @ Lies, Ltd.: Literary Short Fiction by Michael C. Just (

The Obligate Carnivore has been published by the Scarlet Leaf Review @ Category: MICHAEL JUST – SCARLET LEAF REVIEW

I See You, Too has been published by the 96th of October @ I See You, Too – 96th of October

Offload, a short story about a man who can heal any disease, is now live and can be read at The Worlds Within at Offload – The Worlds Within