Tuesday, October 26, 2010


I don’t believe in ghosts (except ghost bikes, of course.)

The idea of disembodied spirits hanging around in graveyards and empty bedrooms doesn’t make sense to me; consciousness, to my way of thinking, is entirely a product of the biological organism that produces it; when the body stops working, so does the mind.

It’s sad, in a way, to think this, since it means my dearly departed mom and dad are really gone; there’s no chance I’ll see them emerging from the shadows on some long dark night of the soul (or if I do, then I’ll have to assume, as does Ebenezer Scrooge when he first meets the specter of his dead colleague, Jacob Marley, that their images are just a product of dyspepsia, a piece of undigested tofu probably in my case).

On the other hand, it can be comforting to not have to worry that evil spirits are out there waiting around to scare the living daylights out of me by rattling chains or moving chairs around or whatever it is that they do to frighten people and it sure made my ride home last night in the dark and wind less creepy in spite of everything else conspiring to make the experience as spooky and gothic as possible.

The moon was rising behind spidery-armed trees into a mist floating above the lake; an afternoon windstorm had littered the trail with broken twigs and bark, and the remnants of the bluster made the leafless branches of maples reach out to grab at me as I rode by. A vast murder of crows assembled, cawing and clattering as I passed through the wetlands behind Husky Stadium; all that what missing was some scary organ music to complete the scene.

If there were such a thing as ghosts, they’d definitely have been out, but I’m not sure I’d have been any more freaked to see one; there’s a limit to just how spooked you can be.


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