Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Ghosts

Ghost. It’s one of my all-time favorite songs by the Indigo Girls, and one that appears on their new disc, Rarities, in its demo format. I was listening to it this morning, and I thought back to when I first heard it. At the time, I was 16, and pretty naïve about things like love and loss. I thought that the ghost in the song was an actual ghost – someone they loved had died and this was a song about that. But now in my older and more jaded state, I see that while my original thought might be true, the ghost in the song is more likely not someone dead, but someone lost to them all the same. This is not necessarily the ghost of a great relationship – in fact, it seems maybe that it wasn’t, but the ghost remains all the same. Signals cross and love gets lost and time passed makes it plain. Of all my demon spirits I need you the most -- I’m in love with your ghost…

I have some ghosts. Maybe not a lot, but definitely some that won’t rest. The crazy thing is, the worst kinds of ghosts are the ones of good memories. It’s something to hold on to and remember, but at the same time, they end up destroying you because what was always overshadows what is or what could be. Unknowing captor, you’ll never know how much you pierce my spirit, but I can’t touch you. Can you hear it -- a cry to be free? But I’m forever under lock and key…

The other thing about ghosts is that if somehow the real person comes back, there’s that hope that things will be as good as they were before, even if in reality, things weren’t that great. Time passes and memories become much of what we want them to be, not necessarily what they truly were. And given the chance to do it over again or start from the beginning, armed with the knowledge that you now possess, therein lies the danger of hope, combined with the ways that you've changed and that the other person has changed. But ghosts overshadow that and make you want things that are most likely out of reach and no longer something that you really want or need. Now I see your face before me, and I would launch a thousand ships to bring your heart back to my island, as the sand beneath me slips…

The strange thing is, I’m not talking about any one person. There are a few ghosts out there that come along at inopportune times and make me remember and there’s a brief moment of happiness, followed by a jarring return to reality. Sigh. Contrary to the tone of this entry, I’m really not in a sad or melancholy mood. Just contemplative. When I feel quiet, I seem to think a lot more. At any rate, I really recommend that if you have never heard this song, you must. Right now.

3 comments:

Kendra said...

Best entry yet. :)

Marissa said...

Okay so I just commented on your Anna Begins post, and not to sound like a broken record here, but Ghost is my favorite Indigo Girls song. You described it so beautifully, I got chills. I have two "Ghosts", and even though both relationships were unhealthy and not great, this song captures just how I feel about them...they really are "demon spirits".

Ariel1980 said...

A thought provoking entry.

Sometimes, we haunt ourselves, or at least I believe we do, because I live daily with the ghosts of me in different times. I recall the title of a book I read in childhood, "Ghosts I have been", because it brings to mind exactly what you have articulated: memories that we sanitize, soften, enrich. What has ceased becomes immovable and inviolate, sacred. I most certainly am guilty of this...but I do not mean guilt in a negative way.

I'm certainly glad to have found your writing. Lovely.