Lately There’s only Shadows*
Photos by NEIL JOHN B. CALLADO
Words by AARON PHILIP M. DELA CRUZ
M.A. Anthropology Students, The University of the Philippines - Diliman
The dark has always wanted to play with me, but I always shunned its presence.
Mother, wise and knowing, taught me to trust only light.
So early on I learned to keep holding on to warmth, pretending darkness wasn’t there.
Even during days when light ignored and abandoned me.
But lately, everything seems to be tinged with darkness.
Sunlight no longer comes peering through my curtained windows.
There is only the shadow, a purring cat that watches me over breakfast.
So one day, I finally allowed the darkness to enter and embrace me.
And since then, both the darkness and I no longer felt alone.
*Lately There’s only Shadows contemplates on dealing and living with anxiety particularly during these precarious times. It calls for the recognition of our schizzes or madness, as envisaged by the “darkness”, in a society that continually disciplines our bodies to pursue “light” (read as reason), the supposed Promethean fire, that inhibits us from recognizing fully our psychosocial self. This perpetual endeavour to remain sane is an outcome of a neoliberal design that deigns its subjects to remain rational in order to become productive members of the workforce and society. It is after all through the confinement of this inane madness, as Michel Foucault observed, that we become functional and civilized.
The photographs defamiliarize the home by panning and limiting itself in its supposed safe space, thus also acting as a metaphor for exploring the self.