INSPIRED BY A SPIRIT
Have you ever seen one of those old movies where they gypsy has a family gathered around her séance table, holding hands, and conjuring up a spirit. The spirit – let’s call him Uncle Dominick – passed on years ago, and the family has so many unanswered questions.
His widow wants to ask her late husband what that letter she found in the desk meant. His children need to wheedle out where Papa Dominick had hidden the will. His sister tells Dominick to say hi to all of their dead relatives. And the misunderstood heroine, feeling alone though she’s surrounded by a family who never understood her, is there simply to humor everyone. Until she feels the table move, sees the candle flicker, and smells Uncle Dominick’s cheap cologne. All she wants is for her dearly departed uncle to tell his story.
Yeah, a scene from a B-movie, but something I kind of found myself going through, but only in reverse. People, especially this time of year, are trying to conjure up spirits, begging them to tell their stories. But is it ever the other way around? Do the spirits ever try to call up a human in their ghostly little séances, demanding a mortal tale?
I found myself walking the cool autumn trails at the nature center, and for no particular reason I turned left rather than right. It led me past an honest to goodness pet cemetery and then to a real cemetery another half mile away. While I meandered my way through the gravestones like a discarded plastic bag caught in the wind, I found myself breathing out the words to a story which had no end. My captive audience listened intently, never interrupting me once. And when I came to that stumbling block – more like a the Great Wall of China, separating me from the end of my story – I felt a cool inspiration that looked vaguely like a door. A metaphorical door. The spirits let me through, and I found the end of my story.
So, next time you find yourself wandering to places you’ve never been and talking to yourself like a demented artist, maybe the spirits have called you up. Embrace the moment and find inspiration. After all, spirit and inspire are so close to being the same word, it’s spooky.
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