Sunday, May 10, 2009

No Such Thing?



There are lots of ghosts in and around Washington DC. In fact it is the most haunted city I've lived in. The ghost demographic here includes a lot of dead soldiers, which makes sense geographically because of all the Civil War battlefields that form a ring around the city. Also, at least according to the cosmology of Reya, ghosts are attracted to monuments built to honor them. I think they tend to cluster around the war memorials, perhaps looking for healing and release, or maybe they feel they belong there. There don't seem to be ghost "communities." As I experience it, every ghost feels that he or she is the ONLY pale wanderer among us. I believe being a ghost must be kind of a lonely existence (maybe "non-existence" is a better word).

Not only is DC haunted by human ghosts, but animal ghosts as well. There are lots of dead horses that I figure must have also died in battle, because otherwise how could a horse spirit get caught on this plane?

I speak matter-of-factly about ghosts because to me they are "real." And although mostly, in American culture at this moment in history, I'm thought of as someone who perhaps doesn't have all her dirt in one spot for believing in them, I try to remind myself that I'm not the only person who has ever "seen" ghosts. In fact in most parts of the world throughout history humans have acknowledged and co-existed with ghosts, written countless stories and poems, made paintings and movies about them. Even in our culture of "reason" many people have a ghost story or two to share around a campfire or at Halloween.

What's funny (funny-weird) to me are the people who summarily dismiss my relationships with the Dead, write off millenia of human experience in favor of disbelief. And they're so smug about it. What's that all about?

Disillusionment of Ten O'Clock

The houses are haunted
By white night-gowns.
None are green,
Or purple with green rings,
Or green with yellow rings,
Or yellow with blue rings.
None of them are strange,
With socks of lace
And beaded ceintures.
People are not going
To dream of baboons and periwinkles.
Only, here and there, an old sailor,
Drunk and asleep in his boots,
Catches tigers
In red weather.

-- Wallace Stevens.




28 comments:

Natalie said...

I am a believer and have experienced the odd one or two ghosts in my time.

Smug sceptics = ARGH!!!!!I will say no more.Hmph!
Love to you, Reya.♥

Cynthia said...

It's a complex issue, Reya. When you have encountered other presences, it's difficult to make ordinary sense of the experience.

"You look like you have seen a ghost"...says it all. We are afraid of the unknown. Love to you
<3

Reya Mellicker said...

Just read Natalie's incredible mother's day post - beautiful and heartbreaking. The post reminded me (DUH!) that it's Mothers Day. I'm not a mother so I tend to forget.

My own mother, who died long ago, wandered as a ghost for a dozen years before something shifted and she moved on. May she rest in peace.

Reya Mellicker said...

Thanks, Cynthia. You are so right!

Phil said...

I would call myself a skeptical believer. While I believe in an afterlife (and therefore, spirits), I am not sure of their existence on earth. Except for Caspar (long believed to be the ghost of the late Richie Rich).

John Hayes said...

I don't know that I have a really articulated position on this, but I do very much believe in the "presence" of a place, & that there are powerful places & happy places & unsettling places.

I love "Disillusionment of Ten O'Clock"!

Cyndy said...

I haven't ever seen a ghost, but I think they are there. As John said, some places have a certain presence, and I think that's why I've always been so attracted to old buildings in my travels and why I felt especially bad about having had to tear down the older front section of my house. I can only hope that whatever was there will waft over into the newer section that remains.

ellen abbott said...

My sister sees ghosts and it spooks her (hee hee, I couldn't resist). They would appear around the family dining room set (one of her daughters has it now, the 4th generation). She lived in the house where our father died for a few years and would sometimes see him walking on the beach. I believe in their existence but have not seen them. I think some don't know they are dead, some think they have unfinished business so they can't move on, some are afraid of what comes next so they linger. Interesting that they are unaware of other wanderers. I never thought about that. It must be terribly lonely to be the only one and afraid or unable to move on. I wonder if the ghosts my sister sees, who seem to be interacting, are really alone in their minds.

Scoffers rely too much on their rational brain I guess. They don't believe anecdotal evidence is evidence.

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

Good morning! I fall into the John Hays category of not having an articulated position on ghosts. Perhaps if I made my mind/soul more susceptible I would have such an experience. However, when I was 18 or so I could swear I felt the warm presence of my father as I sat in his chair on which his coat was still hanging.
Happy Dog-Mama day... that's what I am... no human children either.

Tom said...

or how about the people who will say, "I believe that YOU believe."

Your photo...looks like exploding suns and nebulas and swirling galaxies...like something Hubble would see! Neat-o keen.

R.L. Bourges said...

That makes quite a few of us with our dirt not in one spot, then.

There are probably as many 'explanations' about hauntings are there are cosmogonies out there, but explanations are one thing, and experiences quite another.

What you say about ghosts being solitary strikes me as very apt - as if 'ghostlihood' was by definition a state where part of the mind is ensnared in a solitary loop - like an insect hitting against a window, in search of a way out.

Perhaps the fear of ghosts has to do with a fear of becoming ensnared by their obsession. Yet, using the same insect metaphor, the living are the ones who can 'open the window' and help release the trapped energy - although some bits of trapped energy are harder to convince to 'fly out and away' than others, no doubt about it.

That said, here's wishing you an enjoyable day in the sun, Reya.

Celestite said...

I have never seen a ghost, but that doesn't mean they aren't real. I have never seen the North Pole either, but I wouldn't presume to say that it doesn't exist.

mary said...

You know that I would be a believer and have ghosts aound.....how could I NOT ? This church was built in 1840's so there have been a great many spirits around...I have one lady I call Martha.

But I believe a "bad" ghost is the exception - most are just hanging around or passing through. Martha takes care of me - I have a wonderful "watched-over" and protected feeling with Martha here.

Viva la spirit life!

S~DLT said...

It is amazing to me when people dismiss the idea of ghost or spirts. I have daily encounters with them, and have since I was a child. The most recent one cost me $400 - had to get a new phone.

tut-tut said...

Oooh, Reya. Nice poem. I wish you would write (or perhaps you have; then direct me to proper post) about how exactly you see/experience them.

Have a lovely day and a great week!

Bee said...

That last picture -- those leaves are remnants, perhaps a bit like ghosts? The first picture is beautifully disorienting.

I've never encountered a ghost, but I'm perfectly willing to believe -- and aware that many people I admire and respect have had ghostly experiences of some sort. The way you describe Washington, D.C. . . . how could it not be haunted?

Have you ever seen The Others, with Nicole Kidman? We saw it last weekend, and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it.

Auntie, aka Dog Girl said...

It's hard to NOT believe in ghosts.

Reya Mellicker said...

Phil? Is that YOU? Here? Wow I am so honored. How is it that you're always smart AND also funny? How do you do it?

It's an odd time of year to encounter ghosts, but they're out there. I've got another post on the subject for tomorrow. Tut I'll be sure to include the way I experience them. The title of the post I know already: "My mind is always the last to know."

Ronda Laveen said...
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Ronda Laveen said...
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Ronda Laveen said...

I feel that people identify with their body first and their spirit or soul, second. I believe it to be the other way around. We are not our body. It is "the" body that serves as vessel to our soul. When the body dies, our energy continues...sometimes here, sometimes in other demenisons.

I guess it is easier for people to consider dense matter as being "real." Time to take my body outside now.

Verily I go. said...

Hi Reya,
Happy day for you too. I believe.

Joanna said...

I agree with Ronda. I also believe there is a difference between sensing a loved one who has left the physical and sensing a being that is stuck somewhere in between dimensions--a ghost for want of a better word. Interesting post and comments.

Barry said...

While I haven't had a personal encounter with ghosts, many of my family members have.

In fact once we get talking on the subject, most of my friends and family members have.

Hmmm? Wonder what's the matter with me?

Val said...

great post and comments; i think there are many ways of communicating sending and receiving messages as such; it must be a lonely place out there... and horses - wow! looking forward to tomorrows post!
thanks Reya for your soulful writings - I love your blog xx

Phil said...

Well, Reya, you never left me a forwarding address...

But the Playaz are stalkers-extraordinarie, so we'd find you eventually.

Barbara Martin said...

Only those meant to have messages from the beyond have 'ghost' experiences. It means the person is becoming intuitive to other levels of consciousness to enable them to further their soul's journey.

Star said...

I think we should all believe in ghosts. I believe that, if we only open our minds more, the ghosts will come to us. They come to us in those moments when we are thinking about someone else and then that someone gets in touch. Ghosts help to clear the pathways.
Blessings, Star