• Ayesha Dhurue

In Praise of Shadows by Junichiro Tanizaki

We approach darkness with a melancholic and uneasy caution. What is inferred by such an encounter is (and always will be) synonymous with ambivalence and mystery. The more you understand the depth of your’s or a whole universe’s shadow, the stronger it gets to make you feel something. In Praise of Shadows is an ephemeral essay written with infinite affection about the manifestation of shadows in the ordinariness of living. What, if I were to ask you, are the ordinary elements of living? Those elements that express their form, awareness, and sensation intimately. And yet, they’re merely unremembered by us in the next second. How, then, does shadow define these elements better than we ever can? In Praise of Shadows reads like a conversation consisting of profound inconsistencies. It’s eager to touch upon some of the distinct nuances between Western and Eastern mannerisms. Proving that even to meditate upon a foundation as seemingly dull and blank as a white wall can have expression. If you were to look up from the book around you, look at the empty mug in front of you, the stack of books on the floor, or the sun peels through a crack in the window - you’d grasp the strangeness of everything. And how we carefully perceive these elements as they fill up empty spaces and wander, forever drenched in the brush strokes of light and shadows.