A recent conversation:

“…I live in the shadows. Or so it feels. A few years back I was blooming in the sun. So it felt. Now I’m living my life in the shadows. Of my computer. Emails. SMS. MSN. Facebook. Twitter. Blogs. Websites. I am now recognized through the style of my writing and not by my voice. Sadness is felt  by the stucture of my phrases and not seen in my tears. Happiness is seen in my exclamation marks and not heard in my laugh. The truth is guessed by my vocabulary and not heard in the seriousness of my voice.  I have become deletable. I am speaking less and writing more. I am hearing less and wondering more. My voice is growing softer and the shadows wider…”

Sketch in moleskine with rotring pen and watercolour.

…deep talk...


30 thoughts on “Shadows

  1. I know your voice and have heard your voice; but with others it is missing. This made me sad and I feel like am in shadow also. Great writing, great watercolor. I hope in this lifetime we will once again sit for a chocolate chaud to speak softly and laugh deeply!

  2. “….I have become deletable…”

    That strikes me as so sad. Perhaps we all need to reflect on the impersonal nature of the internet. I’m glad you posted this.

  3. Here is the other side of the coin. If you didn’t blog I would have lost out on the enjoyment of your art, writing and the recipes which I love and enjoy immensely.

  4. The words are true. We widen our circles with invisible friends. Good friends, but visible only through words in a box most of the time.

    The sketch goes well with the quote.

  5. I do agree with you, Ronell. On one hand we live on a page and are deletable, but on the other hand, we can reach up and hold a star.
    We can feel touched and connected to someone who begins to become a friend, like you, even though you are on a page, one who is willing too open up and share thoughts and feelings, photographs and slide shows, and, most of all, beautiful sketches and paintings that lift us up, deepen our understanding and electrify our energy.
    And then, renewed, we can jump right into our living, even more fully than before, because of that special moment with you. And, oh yes, your sketch fits the words in lovely way.


  6. Wow, this entry really impressed me. And no, I’m not talking about the painting this time (you already know I like your loose watercolor paintings), no I really like what you have written. This is so true for all of the people who invest much time and effort into their blogs and internet presence(s).

  7. I just discovered your blog a few minutes ago and the very first post just hit me straight in the heart. Just yesterday, I had to write a very short letter and discovered my handwriting was much more different that before and I reflected this was due to not using the pen and paper anymore and it made me kind of sad. This kind of sad feeling I just re-discovered in your post. I think that I will think of this a little more today… In the meantime, I am going to explore your blog fully right after this message. Thanks for having written something that I also felt. Louise, near Montreal Quebec.

  8. Ah, Cara .. I too am in the shadows with you — friendwise — most of my friends are on line — and I have to say, they enrich my life so much … but they are so hard to have coffee with, or shop with, — or hug! So I understand.

    I see a lot of folks at work — often too many — so I’ve got acquaintances there, and peers, and coworkers and bosses, but a friend to run with, no, sadly, not exactly with my insane work and out of town schedule and my family commitments.

    So we live in the shadows together .. and I’m okay with that for now — and wish that it were a bit easier for you and for the others who find themselves here …

    I have to agree with online friends have enriched my life, as has the incredible art, encouragement and kindnesses I have found there/here ….

    You art, as always, blows off my socks … beautiful….

    And hon, come have coffee with me … we’ll find our voices indeed …

    love you

  9. For once you’ve left me speechless, Ronell. Now I’m wondering if I speak with exclamation marks IRL. I hadn’t thought of this as a life in the shadows, more concerned about it being a life in radiation i.e. how bad is it for me to be in bed with my laptop on my lap?!

    I just read your post to HWEM and saw a flicker of recognition on his face, or was that just the flicker of his screen?

    Beautifully written as usual. Of course I’m not entirely convinced this is how it is in your world because for some reason, I always ‘see’ you in the sun.

  10. Ek is so dankbaar dat ek jou “hoorbare” stem ken…ek kan selfs “tussen lyne” verstaan hoe jy voel!..dit sal ‘n hartseer dag wees as jou “blog” stem stil raak..so asseblief moet nooit ophou nie!! xx

  11. It is a little weird, isn’t it, the limitations of “virtual” friendships…not entirely real or completely fulfilling.

    This little painting is so bright and splashy. You really know how to put the water in watercolor, Ronell! Wish I could join you for a cup of something!

  12. I hear your heart in this sad post. I do feel like that sometimes too but often we have no voice at home either. I find that it is so refreshing to be able to share some of my thoughts and have someone interested enough to read them. To paint a little nothing painting and have someone comment on it. I know my kids don’t care what I say or looking at my daily sketchbook! I love both sets of friends, my internet friends and my closer friends. I also like what Casey said about it being our choice to step out into the sunshine! It is finding the balance of both that is important. I love what you have to say and the way you share it.

  13. Hi Ronell,

    Add a ‘c’ to the word “deletable” and it becomes “delectable” –delightful; highly pleasing; enjoyable: THAT’s how I picture YOU my friend. Your blog is a treasure.

    p.s. Virtual coffee is better than no coffee at all. I love your sketch.

  14. Ronell, Judy said that beautifully! Computers and their “pull” can be overwhelming at times, but I also realize that if not for the internet, I’d never have known you or your beautiful and inspiring art. I consider myself so fortunate having friends from around the world I’d never have known, (even if I never actually meet you.) You are most definitely not deletable, and I always look forward to seeing you and your work. You have a wonderful talent and I admire your talent.

  15. Hi Ronell – being a notoriously ‘quiet’ person I’ve delighted in finding a different voice and a group of supportive and mutually creative virtual friends – some (such as you!) whose personalities seem to radiate through their art and words, whether they’re happy or sad ones. But the emptiness of physical isolation does get heavy – for me it takes great effort to seek out real interaction, but essential to do so. (I’m also trying to steer clear of or limit Twitter, facebook, etc).
    Wishing you sunshine again…

  16. Hey, it’s winter, the dark time of year so half the earth is literally living in the shadow more of the time than not. But days are getting longer now. I constantly have to work towards balance between real and virtual life. I hope you’re not feeling deletable anymore!

  17. Given the (at least, current) impossibility of having a cup of tea with you, being limited to seeing your beautiful watercolours on my screen, and reading whatever thoughts you choose to share with us, is a situation I’m happy to accept.

  18. I am using contour drawing too, but when I see this drawing of yours with the magnificent watercolors, I really wish I could also be good at using colors. Any suggestion how to master the color wheel? I can’t I am hopeless with colors, I even wear my daily clothes with mismatched colors that sometime give every chuckles and elecit not only one but many comments on my “weird’ choice of colors in costumes.

Tthank you for your visit and comment, II appreciate it!

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