The Everlasting Shadows

The Everlasting Shadows By Rochel Leah Itzkowitz - Photo by Elise Anstey

I lived in my brother’s shadows. As each moment passed, the shadow grew. Each glare, each disappointed face, shattered my frail heart. My heart shrunk and slowly concealed itself deeper into my body. It yearned for recognition, or at the least, an ounce of acknowledgment. However, it recognized that any love was virtually impossible. I sympathized with my tormented heart, pitying more and more that with every move I made, I fell deeper and deeper into my growing shadow.

I lived in my brother’s shadows. The growing shadow controlled me. Shadows so restraining that my passion and hope was scarce. If only I had a drop of ambition, these restraining shadows would vanish.

I lived in my brother’s shadows. Restraining my identity and passions was a minimization of the truth. My passion was music. The downside of having a close relationship with a talented musician such as your brother was my lack of attention. Regardless, it was expected. You know, one sibling trapped in the other’s restraining shadows.

I lived in my brother’s shadows. The way the piano keys felt on my relaxed fingers had a powerful effect on my soul. The piano keys diminished my growing shadow. For a brief moment, I felt unrestrained, as if I had more musical talent than my brother. My growing shadow soon vanished. I lifted my trembling fingers from the piano keys. Then reality struck. Instantly, my growing shadow restrained not only my music passion, but also my mental desire to advance it.

I lived in my brother’s shadows. My aunt was blessed with a baby boy, obliging me and my relatives to attend the celebration. My brother returned from his music tour the day before the party. Obviously, I understood what was going to happen at this family party: my presence would be disregarded and my brother’s would be worshipped. Later, we arrived at the celebration and all eyes were planted on me. This was unsettling. What changed, Aunt Ora? Why was I important all of a sudden?

I wasn’t certain if I lived in my brother’s shadows anymore. My brother had recorded my piano songs, as I played the instrument. My famous brother sent this recording to my family and friends. Why? Why would he expose my passion like this? How could he bring himself to take me out of my restraining shadow?

I was never in my brother’s shadow. My restraining shadow was all in my head. I perceived my restraining circumstances as my brother’s fault. My brother wanted to see my success unfold and much recognition from my loved ones. I was wrong to despise my dear brother. He is my flesh and blood.

I am hiding in my own restraining shadows. My own thoughts control my lack of musical passion. My brother does not. My thoughts make me resent someone who wants the best for me. My brother is innocent. I am to blame. I now recognize my misconception and deeply pray I will never fall deep into a similar restraining shadow.

I look over to the right and glimpse at my sister. Ugh, my sister…such a talented artist…

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