Shadow People

Shadow people inhabit the realm just beyond our field of vision; not trying to hide or pretend – invisible only because we don’t want to see them. Not pan handlers, prostitutes, or criminals; shadow people are simply unattractive, unfortunate people we ignore. Almost always alone – they don’t hide around corners or approach us – not threatening in any way, they are invisible because they can’t be defined. We glide down the street oblivious to their presence, looking past or through them as we hurry about our all too important lives.

Having a cigarette

4th Avenue

Photos –

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15 thoughts on “Shadow People

  1. I remember Xmas In Antwerp. A man was laying on the street. No one watched him cos they were to busy buying X mas stuff. We have to give a arm around a should and a smile. Nevr ignore the ones who have less. Be blessed with what we have.and dont look the other side. Awesome post it goes right to the heart

    • Never thought of it that way but you’re right. Shadow people take on different dimensions depending on where you live, in some countries you expect them and look away because the problem is too vast. Where I live many of them are mentally ill, and simply fall through the cracks. Any one of us could find ourselves in their place.

  2. Ignorance is bliss. By ignoring their presence, we live blissful lives. We do not have to face uncomfortable, unsettling questions. Someone asked a man on the street about the worst part of being homeless. “No one sees me” was the reply.

    • American musician Steve Earle just released a song called Invisible. Sung from the perspective of a homeless man, who says the only way he knows he exists is when the pavement cuts his feet through the holes in his shoes.
      Society worships the rich, young, and beautiful. I embrace the beauty found in worn faces and leathered skin.
      I looked at your photographs – stunningly beautiful. Following you now, and looking forward to your view of the world. 🙂

  3. I have been thinking of the term “Shadow People”– because I wrote a posting on Homeless People and someone told me that they are referred to as “Shadow People.” I have thought about the use of the word “shadow.” Then today, reading your post, I came upon it again. I AGREE with ALL of your sentiments and our horrible indifference…however, I am uncomfortable using the word, “Shadow” because I think it is ONE STEP closer to removing them from the status of HUMAN BEINGS, like ourselves. This is NOT a personal attack on you or whoever chooses to use it…I just think we already “remove” them from our lives in many ways…and then “shadow” just seems like another level of removal.
    Great thoughts you have! And your thoughts should be on the billboard on Times Square! Running through the News Feed! With less and less tangible press, i.e. newspapers and magazines about, I fear the distance between people will grow greater–between the Haves and Have Nots.
    Blessings on us all to wake up!

    • Thanks for your comment and insight. I use the term “shadow” for precisely the reason it makes you uncomfortable.These people inhabit a realm of shadows – every bit as human yet cast in shadow by a self absorbed society. In my opinion the term shadow acknowledges their presence rather than removing them further.

      I find it incredibly interesting how each of us perceives uncomfortable situations. Go figure 🙂

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