I drive from one ancient house to another. Each home presented it's own ghosts. One of the homes, now inhabited by someone that rides a tricycle, used to be the place that I listened to Def Leppard on tape, and would rewind "Love Bites" over an over until the bite fell into my dreams. Another is always dark and quiet. It is as if no one calls it home. This was the place I lived when I met and dated my wife. She would sit on this mustard velvet couch I had bought at a garage sale and watch me dance to my favorite songs.
Another is a home for pot heads. I know this because on a date night with my wife, we drove past it. As we slowly past, I noticed the blue elephant slide I played with as a kid in the back yard. It had been more than 22 years since I had seen it. I stopped the car and my wife insisted I ask about it. We went to the door together and were greeted by a few very high teenagers who had no idea about the slide. It was removed the next time I drove by it.
One ghost after another. I moved every couple years growing up and left many homes behind. I met and left so many people. You would be hard pressed to find a person that has met this many people with so few close friends. But the memories made in ancient spaces are priceless.
This is nostalgia. We drive by the places that houses our childhood ghosts. When we stop to stare at them, we can see ourselves playing in the backyard or swinging on the swing-set. We remember the very feeling we had in the moment that we see. We feel it as though it had never left. Maybe it didn't. Maybe we drove here to revisit a time that we were happy or a time that we were so profoundly sad. Humans revisit extreme emotions. It's our way. We embrace intense feelings.
People are born with the natural desire to be happy and experience beauty. Tragedy ruins this and we find ourselves still yearning for beauty, but often find it in tragedy. Maybe not the tragedy itself, but the human response to tragedy. There is beauty in a person watching his ghost throw a football in the air as a child and running under it in time to catch it and get all of the glory that comes with being beautiful and stupid. There is beauty in being a person that you never got to experience as a child.
There is beauty in looking backwards and seeing how you had no idea that you seemed to have been set up to lose. You just kept plugging away clueless until you got the idea.
People sometimes ask me what I believe in. My answer is mostly based on reflection of my own ghosts. I remember lying on a drier in the laundry room as a teenager and was just finding out that I was the punchline of the joke. I didn't know it at the time, but I wasn't alone. I felt like I was on an island, but I was simply on a drier with a great God sitting with me.
I believe because God has always been there when I felt like no one else was. No, you cannot prove God. I don't care. You cannot prove any emotion we experience. You cannot prove the "origin of species." We are left to our own devices. We are left to our own ghosts.
But we are not alone.
Thanks for reading...Z