Nights like tonight haunt me. When the wind blows ghosts through the branches and I can hear them rustling like the little wings of birds outside my door. This night-time wind makes me restless.
I have often thought about the duality of human nature. I feel we all have our monsters to keep at bay. But sometimes they scratch and bite and kick to the surface and I feel myself lost in memories.
That is the tricky thing about time- it creeps up on you until you find yourself surrounded by it. But the past is a fiction, just as the future is. The present is the only reality, and how brief a moment the present is- oh look, it too is now gone. In “At the Auction of the Ruby Slippers” Salman Rushdie writes, “This permeation of the real world by the fictional is a symptom of the moral decay of our post-millennial culture. Heroes step down off the cinema screens and marry members of the audience. Will there be no end to it? Should there be no more rigorous controls? Is the State employing insufficient violence? We debate such questions often. There can be little doubt that a large majority of us oppose the free, unrestricted migration of imaginary beings into an already damaged reality, whose resources deminish by the day.”
No wonder so many of us restless spirits float about like apparitions who can’t find home. We live in the past and the future, fictions, and we let those fictions weedle their way into our realities. And in reference to those shining red slippers that promise us home, Rushdie writes, “‘Home’ has become such a scattered, damaged, various concept in our present travails. There is so much to yearn for. There are so few rainbows any more. How hard do we expect even a pair of magic shoes to work? They promised to take us home, but are metaphors of homeliness comprehensible to them, are abstractions permisible? Are they literalists, or will they permit us to redefine the blessed word? Are we asking, hoping for, too much?” I hope not.
Is each moment of reality to pass away and attach itself to our corporeal selves like Albatross ’til we ourselves transcend this world? I do not want to live in the past. As Listener says, “We are all bound in veins and hopes. We are not each others ghosts.”
I hope this wind that carries all these restless memories to me, these little fictions of past and futures to be- I hope this very wind carries them away so that I may find home in the present.