31 October… some ghosts I met…




The weather is rainy today,there is a fun google doodle game for the occasion and I have some very loose reflections on some ghosts I have met and  the way  I think about them.


..and I know of at least one place in Lublin that might be perfect for setting a spooky mood. It’s an old, abandoned mill  in  a suburban area of Lublin.. I always imagined it to be haunted.  We used to go there with my dad and my brother’ it’s an old abandoned building  among fields and grasses, surrounded by  thick shrubbery.. Pretty spooky at night.

There are various ghosts we could meet tonight. Kind playful ghosts like Casper maybe. Or aggressive poltergeists. We could  bust those ghots too, of course.

 I met some lost soul ghost in old games,like Another Code   a hand held game, in whch a little girl struggled to find her dad on some abandoned island …she was aided on her quest by a ghost with amnesia…it was a lovely adveture type game with charming puzzles and good ost, and the  ghost was given good closure, his heart was laid to rest thanks to the protagonist’s effort in this fairly emotional game story.

But there are two association with ghosts that remain strong in my mind. One is “Dziady” / Forfathers’s Eve/ by AdamMickiewicz  I still love that poem, and one of the reasons is the strong, hauting opening for part II . The poem’s part II begins with an ancient  feast/ritual to commemorate the dead and deals with other ghosts along the way.  My favorite part is the evocation of the souls of the dead, with very haunting refrains.  Some parts can be read here in an original translation.

Punishing ghosts…those who haunt characters that are guilty of something appear in Conrad’s novels and short stories.   Regret at betrying friends,  seeing illusions of things left behind = the presence of ghosts in Conrad’s stories is haunting and very emotional. I guess I was always drawn to Romantic  and Gothic elements in Conrad’s work, those that create the striking mood, sometimes nostalgic, sometimes sinister.  There’s a lot of that in the way Conrad paints his scenes, the stillness in the darkness…that’s haunting and evocative for me as a reader and that’s  very authentic, hits the heart. There’s the story of  Karain, for instance  or The Shadow Line whose crew was haunted by the  memory of the previous captain and establishes a certain tense, ghostly mood (even if Conrad himself may have denied that), there are shadowed selves as in Secret Sharer.  Different types of ghosts and haunting occur in Conrad’s stories:  in emotions, in the depiction of the setting and its changes, in characters’ fears. There’s illusoriness  that  reflects a sense of loss  suffered by the characters.  There are always some regrets and those regrets become powerful impulses; there’s reflection too. Refection,thought, authenticity that gives the ghosts a reason to present themselves in one form or another, as in Karain. To remind.  And night is the time when  a  character haunted by their presence seeks safe shelter  to try and  find some relief, even for a moment,from that  terrible angst that eats away at their hearts.

Some other ghosts I met are consoling guardian ghosts. A film reference that just popped into my head that reflects the difficulty of moving on after a loss is a film in the vein of  Truly, Madly Deeply. Hanging on to a lost love but healing slowly, while the  feelings manifested in the form of a visiting ghost, linger on.

But then, on the other hand .another ghost reference that just popped into my head is from “Crouching Tiger Hidden  Dragon”. Towards the end of the film, the romantic story reaches its  closure but the line spoken by Li Mu Bai is one that stayed with me since I first watched the film as a teenager.  “I’d rather be a ghost drifting by your side  as a condemmened soul than enter heaven without you/Because of your love, I will never be a lonely spirit”.  I like Li Mu Bai and Shu Lien until now (they are one of my favourite couples on film)  they are a sort of balanced pairing for me that is  stable and agreeable.  He asks her to keep him and for those too it’s a certain promise and a certain srength tha fits their quiet, understading bond.  But to me that line also emphasizes the importance of remembering.


Memory,love, remembering, regrets, nostalgia, lessons learned, strengths drawn, reevaluations are what I thk of on 31 Ostober.


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