Monthly Archives: August 2016

ghosts

Have you ever seen a ghost? I don’t mean “ghost” like in a horror movie. I mean the face of loved one seen from the corner of your eye. The glimpse of a family member in a crowd. The hint of perfume or cologne that brings a warm remembrance. That kind of ghost. I see them. I see a tall slim twenty something and see my son. He isn’t there, just the ghost of him. A glimpse, my mind seeing what my heart longs to see. There, yet not. We don’t want to let go of things we no longer have. The ghost of a word spoken out of spite or anger. The ghost of a friend with whom I have lost touch. The ghost of love not given or forgiveness asked or given. Those are the ghosts walk with me, haunt me even.

Where I grew up, we didn’t have ghosts, we had “haints”, for those not able to speak mountain, that is “haunts”. Someone in my family won’t go into the room where my grandmother died, because it’s haunted. Some Native American tribes won’t leave the window shut in a room where someone has died, so their spirit can get out. Maybe all that is just superstition, but I have seen too many weird things to discount any of them. Just because you can’t prove it doesn’t make it not true. My ancestors brought all kinds of beliefs with them from England and Ireland and Scotland. We brought that haunting Scots Highland sound or the Irish music that sounds a lot like Bluegrass or the lilt of the “Celtic” music. All the music that harkens to a world not quite here, not quite touched, softly heard, barely seen, ghostly.

My ghosts only seem to show up when I look back or turn back or move my eyes from the way ahead. Maybe that should tell me something.

See y’all later.