Shhh… shhh… can you hear it? That beautiful alone time? Shhh… shhh. Can you hear them? The quiet comrades? Shhh… shhh.
Would you just stop for a bit and just listen?
I can hear them sometimes. It is different from the inner conversations I have in my head. Or thoughts that churn in the mind.
Sometimes an actual voice breaks through. A simple hello usually. And I mean an actual voice- a sound like someone is actually saying hello right in my ear. I feel the breath. It has happened a few times. Especially in this apartment.
The other day, sitting at the kitchen table, I heard a garbled lilla gumman from behind me. It was a Lynchian distorted voice but a voice nonetheless- not an imagined one or again those inner thoughts. This was a sound. [And lilla gumman was a term of endearment my father called me. (Kind of translates to little lady).] It doesn’t scare me. It enthralls me.
Then there is the welcoming peacefulness of the souls that reside with me here in this old apartment. There is a peacefulness and camaraderie as my cats hold space and at times seem to channel the energy souls of my previous pets, the energy souls of my parents, the soul of this building. Is that why it feels so right with animal companions and so utterly empty without them?
I take a deep breath every time I wake to this place, every time I turn the corner walking home and I see her- this building. I feel enormous gratitude as I turn the key and walk up her stairs, aware of all the souls that walked up and down those same stairs since 1929. And I feel the energy of the ground beneath us, holding history, intense gratitude for its history and a connection to this massive Earth.
Why this intensity of joy I feel when watching tiny birds in the morning as the sun rises while I walk to the bus? 65¢ in my pocket is the start of a million. The smell of coffee, the sun shining through my window at sunset, the scratches in the hardwood, the musty smell of my books, the miracle of this 11 year old laptop… surely this must all come from the fact I am in some kind of wide-eyed wonder state that only comes with being aware-fully dead.
I live among these ghosts and the energy that still swirls from events past and I find comfort in that magical thinking.
Maybe I am a ghost. How do I know if I am not?
Then- wow- the incredible synchronicity of writing this and turning on A Ghost Story on Netflix. So I pull out the newsprint and china markers.