Shadowplay by Norman Lock

To become another—even if only a puppet—is impossible for all but a few. The solitary one not bound to others may sometimes slip from himself like a boat its mooring. It is a paradox of identity that those most absorbed in themselves are most readily transformed. Perhaps to be thought of by others is to be fixed, is to have our identity given by them, is—in the language of the batik clothmakers—to have our pattern drawn. Guntur's pattern was a storyteller's. Beyond this, it had not been drawn. Attaining mastery of his wayang theater, he might come to inhabit its characters. The man who loved shadows might mingle his own with those cast by his puppets, which are themselves the shadows of stories.