Birthday Party Bonfires & Ghostly Faces

Elizabeth Harper Ghostly Face in Bonfire Smoke

I’ve been in the UK long enough to have attended a bonfire or two especially since they occur routinely on the 5th of November every year, but last night was actually my very first one. John and I went to a 50th birthday party for a friend in the village and in addition to fireworks, there was a huge bonfire. While I expected to see a roaring big fire, I did not expect to see the faces that you see in two of the images I took.

Elizabeth Harper 2x Ghostly Face in Bonfire Smoke

An interesting observation is that these two photographs are separated by six photos in-between, none of which have anything resembling a face, making it seem to be a look that came, went, and re-emerged from the smoke.

It’s not the first time I’ve seen something unusual in a photograph and I’m sure there must be an explanation, I’m just not sure what it is.

What about you, have you ever had a ghostly image show up in your photographs? 

Ghostly Dreams And Bad Fashion Choices

For as long as I can remember I’ve always had vivid dreams. I’ve been able to do a bit of lucid dreaming and once in a great while I’m able to fly. While I don’t remember every part of my dreams, I can usually recall a fair amount of them when I wake.

Sometimes someone will show up in my dreams who I know is dead. I know you’re probably thinking, “ Dead people, really Elizabeth, hasn’t that been done, “ but it’s true.

I always look forward to those and they don’t happen enough to suit me.

I can’t remember ever having more than one family member or friend show up at a time, but last night was a party. It’s too bad I didn’t know any of the ghosts … oops,  I mean guests.

In my dream, I was looking at my reflection in a large waist-high mirror in the corner of a big room that was fairly dark in the beginning except for the lighting in this one area. I was wearing a dress that appeared to be vintage and I was thinking this was a look I needed to always wear as design suited me so well.

Suddenly, I saw the reflection of a middle-aged woman who was older looking than I am now and she was standing behind me with hair and clothing that looked as if it was from the forties.

Peach was the prominent color. I was wearing it which is something I would never do and she had on a belted peach-colored day dress with tiny flowers on it. She was nodding her head like she was agreeing me about my dress choice and when I turned around she wasn’t there. When I turned back to the mirror she was visible to me again, smiling and nodding like we were old friends.

I had no idea who this woman was in the dream. Normally, I’m calm when ghosts show up in my sleep, but having a stranger made it seem a bit scary and all of sudden I found myself unable to speak and everything I said came out garbled. I felt a bit like Whoopi Goldberg’s character in ‘Ghosts’ when she first hears Sam talking to her and realizes that she’s really hearing from someone dead after years of faking it.

It took me a few minutes to find my voice in my dream and after that it was like ghosts on parade. It was almost as if I had stumbled into a ballroom-sized old garage of some kind where they popped in and out like they were visiting old friends. Sometimes they spoke to me and sometimes they just clustered around each other.

After watching them move a few vintage cars in an unusual way, I found I had the ability to levitate a few myself. Having done that trick, I wondered if I could move myself in a similar way and as quickly as I had the thought, I floated up and across the room as gently as if I was floating on my back in pool of water.

One of the best parts of the dream had to be the dogs. Some of the ghosts had their dogs with them and when I asked, they said they found each other after death.

I wasn’t scared at all after the first sighting and no one seemed bothered by me. My level of comfort did make me consider if I might have been one of them in the dream.

You know, as in dead.

This thought came to me as I was writing this morning and I can say without hesitation that I would not like to spend eternity in a peach-colored party dress in a garage full of cars, dogs, and people I don’t know.

I might could handle jeans and wellies, but that party dress has got to go.

Resurrection Sunday – Ghosts

Resurrection: Middle English, from Old French, from Late Latin resurrēctiō, resurrēctiōn-, from Latin resurrēctus, past participle of resurgere, to rise again. 

or this

The act of bringing back to practice, notice, or use; revival

I’ve been thinking a bit about my first blog site where I left a few things behind that were important to me. Intimate and personal, they just sit there now waiting for someone to stumble across them. After reading today’s post by Sarah-ji over at Shutter Sisters I thought a good bit about one sentence she wrote and what it meant to me…it’s a request really and one that inspired me to look back through my memories and resurrect some for another look.

Here Sarah-ji asks, ” Will you share with us today your images of the weathered, beat-up and forgotten that nevertheless convey to you a hope and beauty that’s raw and real? ” I appreciate the inspiration provided by her question today and the gifts for me in remembering what remains raw and real. What about you out there…how about a Resurrection Sunday of your own. Perhaps you can provide a link today to what is “raw and real”, ” hope and beauty ” as Sarah-ji asks or something else. I’m interested in what you have to share today…..

Ghosts

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“Let it go” she said. Standing in the remains of the church on the edge of the rocky coast, I could almost hear her voice whispering to me, “forgive yourself and let it go.”

Looking around the dirty room thick with years of dust, I wondered about the last time someone had sat on the rough pew waiting for the minister to get to the point. Simple in their design, and looking as uncomfortable as the wind felt blowing in through the broken glass, I pulled my coat tighter and considered the history of the tiny church. The room was poorly lit, the shadows in the corners near the old pulpit were scary in the dark space that John seemed to disappear into and out of sight. Nervous and not sure why, I stepped closer to the low light drifting in through the only window not boarded up.

Before when we were still outside, John had pulled on a door that was wedged shut to keep people out while had I hung back thinking about how what we were doing was less adventure and more intrusion. This ruin of a church, isolated and abandoned on the Isle of Skye should have drawn me in rather than triggering my fight or flight response, but as he slipped in past the half open door, I found myself tight behind him not wanting to be left alone, even outside.

Once inside I came part way down the aisle and considered my feet were walking where hopeful brides had walked, one hand lightly resting on their father’s arm anxious to take the final steps that would take them from their parents home into one of their own making. A home and life they would struggle to build with the man smiling and nervous waiting at the front of the church.

Flashing quickly forward I imagined the hardships of life here years ago when this church might have been alive with activity and the energy of the fishing community.

Would the women who married and later baptized their children here also have gathered to mourn and bury their hope along with the men they loved in this little church. What dreams had been lost to the things they could not control. What words had they left unsaid and what things once done could never be forgotten.

I knew then why I didn’t want to go into this church. This building had once been light and bright with possibilities and warmth. It had been a gathering place for worship and reflection, for celebration and for sorrow. Standing in the darkness, all I could feel was a sense of loss and the echo of those who had called this place a sanctuary.

“Let it go” she said, “move on with your life and live well while you can.”

Acts of contrition, reconciliation, absolution, sometimes all you can do has to to be enough….let it go.

 

(Posted originally on August 6, 2008 at http://giftsofthejourney.com)