I ruined a perfectly great track record, if you will look at the August calendar below to the right, in the sidebar. 10 days without incident, I’d say. The incident being the return of a ghost from the past who wanted to become real again. The best way to summon a ghost, I’ve found, is to say you don’t believe in it. And so it appeared. It clanged its chains. Those are just sounds, I told it. Sounds aren’t palpable and I told it to prove that its desire to get back into my life is real. I asked it to prove that it could exist in my world without fading away again. I asked it to show me that its intentions are nonvolatile. In response it clanged its chains from a distance and refused to get any closer. I asked it questions with easy answers. I gave it chances to answer me satisfactorily. I tried to help it tell me it wasn’t about to disappear this time and that it would prove as much, but the ghost wouldn’t. It wanted to come back, but to remain a ghost; it didn’t want to be real. I was trying to help it convince me that it would behave differently and be a tangible presence in my world. But, you see, I was trying to convince myself.

In the process, I got so preoccupied with that damned (ha!) ghost, I stopped writing! I’d never posted 10 days in row before this, so I guess it still remains a record, but I did stop when I didn’t even want to. I tried and tried to write on Saturday, but nothing flowed, not even a trickle of thoughts. I kept thinking of what the outcome of the latest encounter (not even in person, if you can believe that!) with the ghost would be. Until Tuesday I hadn’t figured out that the ghost wasn’t about to become real, for it is a ghost for a reason. Isn’t it? I kept refusing to see that unless it wanted to be a part of my life in a wholesome way and behaved accordingly, it wasn’t going to be. Its own ephemeral self had to wish it and it wasn’t up to me. I let the meaningless noise it was making take over my thoughts. I paid too much attention to the inconsequential disturbance it created, trying to figure out what it really wanted and stayed away from my own happy world. Shame on me for neglecting my passion.

I have since tried to exorcise the ghost so it doesn’t return to haunt me anymore. I wasn’t being firm and I think I’ve now seen it melt away à la the Wicked Witch of the West, but if you’ve watched Wicked, the musical, you know what that means. You see that quote on puzzles? I was about to back-date that to Saturday so it’d look like I had written that day. Then I decided I’d take responsibility for what I did, so the time lost here will tell me what’s important to me, those blank spaces I’ll see on the calendar will remind me to not lose sight of what matters. Mr. Ghost stoppered my thoughts and they wouldn’t turn into written words and, what’s worse, I actually let it cork my mind. I really did want to write because it makes me happy, but I just couldn’t. I’ll remind myself that I’m only human and I must remember that I might falter again, but now that I’m aware of it, I’ll do my very best not to. And as I mentioned in the earlier piece: Rest assured, I’m going to try my damnedest.

P.S. Oh, by the way, about that extra piece to that puzzle I mentioned, I realised it was about to make my picture discordant. I was looking at a piece which was completely wrong for mine. I thought it was going to fit, it looked like it would and I tried to make it fit, but it didn’t. It wasn’t right. That piece was actually this ghost which needed to be exorcised. I’ll know better next time.


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  1. hellionworks

    Isn’t it a great feeling to exorcise the ghosts of the past, and feel peace at last? But what strikes me sometimes is the fact that it is we who sometimes make ghosts out of mere shadows :-) take your ghost for example – something was meandering in and out of your life like a shadow, and in believing that you could probably find something more substantial in that scheme of things, it turned into a ghost, complete with clanging chains!

    I guess sometimes all it takes is that fair bit of introspection which more often than not tells us where our well-being lies – and in effect, it turns on the lights, dispelling the shadows :)

    Of course, when you perceive such a shadow as what can possibly have been another piece in the puzzle of life, in the end, I’d still say that this chance was worth taking – because now, without a doubt, you know where things stand!

    So here’s to no such ghosts, lesser confusing shadows and lots of light to life. And as for the cracks (especially with regard to those few days you couldn’t bring yourself to write) caused by this, I wouldn’t worry, because there are cracks in everything – that’s how the light gets in! :)

    • Karishma

      It really is a relief, you know, because it becomes difficult to concentrate on almost anything else with their presence looming large in our lives. I like that thought: We do make more of mere shadows. We think we can distinctly identify a shape in them and make it into the ghost we’re imagining.

      If only it was so easy to turn on the light. When we think there’s a ghost there, lurking in the shadows, we remain frozen for a period of time which becomes too long, and we think that if we don’t confront it, it will remain there–being real and unreal at the same time, all the while haunting us. It’s worth it, definitely, to make the effort to turn on the light and see that there is actually nothing there. Or, to tell the ghost that you don’t believe in it anymore…and see how that sends it scurrying away!

      The metaphor of the cracks letting the light in is brilliant. You’re right; sometimes we need those cracks to let the light in, and, sometimes, to let the ghost out.


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