shadow watching

As I was getting dressed this morning I listened to the CD “Popular Problems” by Leonard Cohen that I’d borrowed off my dad. The album artwork makes great use of shadows and that and Cohen’s inevitably deep and melancholy lyrics got me thinking about how we all have a shadow side.

Shadow man 1

my shadow side

I’m not embarrassed to say that I’ve had bouts of depression in the past – If Winston Churchill could admit it then so can I!

Happily, since I began practicing mindfulness, I’m a lot less likely to brood on negative thoughts – which is the fuel of low moods and depression. Also, one of the unlikely benefits of being told I have a life threatening illness is that if my life might be shorter I don’t want to spend it wallowing in the shadows – I’m going to try to appreciate every little detail (even those “I” might not “like”).

My mind works in pictures rather than poetry, unlike Leonard Cohen, so I began thinking of “shadow images” that I’ve taken – It’s fine to explore the shadows if it makes a great picture (or poem / music)!

Here are some of my “shadow pictures” –


shadow side

I took this because to me it looked like his shadow had leapt onto the wall beside him!


going where exactly?

There’s something shadowy about superstition. In the 15 minutes I stood opposite this ladder, no body walked underneath it!


eyes up, eyes downThe shadow following this man is perhaps his feminine side – eye shadow and all!


shadow walking“Shadow Walking” underneath Birmingham Conservatoire


stick shadow A38 underpass“Shadow Walking” underneath Birmingham’s A38 underpass


shadow gateShadows, capes and gates by the River Severn


hat man “Just who is that in the shadows following you?”


Zoot suit“Eyes shadow you”


To end this series of shadow pictures here’s a colour shot that I took in Birmingham right at the start of the New Street renovation work. This great eye poster was put on the wall hiding the work and I waited on a traffic island for about twenty minutes until this man walked past.


I hope you’ve enjoyed these images and some of my shadowy ramblings. As you might know if you are a regular follower, I have a type of Motor Neurone Disease that is making me disabled. The only national organisation in England, Wales and Northern Ireland focused on MND care, research and campaigning is the Motor Neurone Disease Association. They’ve helped me and to try to give something back to the MNDA, I’ve added a donation page to the website that I’m hoping people who are able to might support.

You can find it at the end of the page links at the top of the site. There are also links where you can find out more about the MNDA. If you’d prefer you can also donate by clicking the donate button right underneath this post. Don’t feel pressured to donate, but if you are able and would like to, I and the MNDA would really appreciate it.

Thanks very much for visiting and be happy 🙂



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Any amount, however small or large, will be truly appreciated. Thank you*



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words and pictures © all rights reserved Miles Pilling

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