A Darkening - Jane Hudson
In the Shadow
by Charlene Anderson
I sit in the shadow of the pyramid.
Around me the darkness is deep, lush, still.
I draw my knees up, wrap my arms around them,
settle slowly down,
like sinking to the floor of some great, old mind.
Here, below the level of language and of thought,
murky shadows lie in pools,
and there isn’t only stillness,
but a sense of quietness and waiting.
The pyramid is not old, not crumbling.
Its wall against my arm seems charged with energy.
Yet the wall is opaque,
the structure a solid mass with no inner chambers.
So I can’t go in to look for, find,
and maybe even excavate its power.
But as dark and indivisible as it is, it is a thing of force
and merely sitting in its deep, reflective shadow,
I begin to know that power.
I look through the shadows around me, out into the desert.
White-hot, scattered over with rough and shapeless rocks,
it seems devoid of meaning, and of form.
I know that world, lived in it.
But now, sitting in the shadow of the pyramid,
I see I can’t go back.
I sink down farther.
The shadow and the force behind the shadow
close around me, move through my mind, sift into my bones.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Charlene Anderson received an MA in English Literature from Purdue University and an MA in Research Psychology from San Francisco State University and spent most of her working life at the University of California San Francisco in grant administration. As a child, she always knew she would write, told stories to her friends, and even invented a pen name for herself, Charles Andrè. So, while working on budgets and submitting grant proposals at UCSF, she continued to write and, in 2001 published a novel, Berkeley’s Best Buddhist Bookstore. When Vistas & Byways was launched in 2015, she was pleased to be asked to chair the Editorial Board. She has served in that capacity ever since.
Other works in this issue:
Bay Area Neighborhoods
Life in the Time of Covid-19
A Tired and Lazy God
A Tribute to Richard Simmonds