Friday, July 20, 2007

Ghosts and other spooky characters

Not sure why an article on a Mastermind group made me think of ghosts. But this morning, while reading Napoleon Hill's "Think and Grow Rich!" (powerful book), I started thinking about ghosts. Not the spooky, popping out of the closet scary kind, but the ethereal, I'm in your head hiding in the crevasses of memory, popping out when you least expect me, kind of ghost.

I've got lots of them. Ghosts of the past. Ghosts who wend their way through the alleyways of memory, slipping in and out of time present, time past, blocking egress, blocking access, blocking sight. Time waits for no man. Ghosts don't care about time. They can be rather inconvenient.

Along with Napoleon Hill this morning, I also read and watched and listened to a powerpoint presentation a friend sent me. This one was nice. It didn't finish with dire warnings of untold disasters visited upon me if I didn't forward it on. It simply said, Enjoy. This one's for you.

And see, another ghost lurking in the shadows edges his way into the light. The song on this powerpoint was, "You are so beautiful." by Joe Cocker. I went to one of his concerts once, long ago, in Toronto. Amazing voice. Odd character. Ghosts of men past. The man I saw this concert with was named Grant L. His name isn't important. His connection to a woman named Valerie is. Grant and I dated off and on for a couple of years. I was living in the west. He was in Toronto. Long distance means long periods of time for life to unfold separately. As mine unfolded away from the time we saw Joe Cocker together and he gave me a rose and tried to sing his feelings for me, I didn't treat him that well. I couldn't stand still long enough to hear someone else's thoughts on who am I. I was struggling to find myself.

Everything is connected to everything, someone said. Is it? I look at the thread this morning of singular events unfolding with ghosts slipping onto the screen of my projections. The connections appear when I look forward with my eyes focused on the past and skip the place I'm at.

Searching for meaning in what might be I miss the wonder of right now. Even ghosts have the power to connect dots in memory to create a vivid picture of possibility, a gentle wafting scene of a movie reel unwinding, creating images, telling the story. A movie has clear touchpoints to bring the audience in, to suspend their disbelief so they believe anything is possible. To bring to life an idea, a thought, a possibility. Beginning. Middle. End. There must be drama. Tension. Something valuable to lose. Something worthwhile to gain.

Like life. Not the final, bye-bye, so long, story's over, but the movie in the making. A script. The guideline. A series of events. Some fortunate. Some not so. But always leading somewhere. Building tension. Creating drama. We are the director acting out our part. Surrounded by actors. Some with roles to play. Some not. And always, a story to be told. A place to be. People to see. Things to be seen. Things evolve. People change. Events happen.

There are a thousand scenes captured. A hundred and one possibilities of what if... Which ones will fall to the cutting room floor? Which ones will make the final cut? In life, scenes unfold. Some play it out to melt into the next. Others have a brief flare of creativity only to fall back into memory. Some simply hide, ghostly images waiting to slip into the moment to remind me that life is a mystery filled with endless possibilities of what if tomorrow.... Life is in the moment. Living it with feeling, savouring every moment, is where the action's at.

"The most splendid future will always depend upon the necessity to release the past." That was one of the messages in the powerpoint I watched this morning.

The most splendid life will always depend upon the necessity to let go of the ghosts and welcome with open arms the possibilities of life beyond the camera, beyond the cutting room floor, beyond the memories of what wasn't so that I am free to experience what is.

Long ago, I knew a man named Grant. He introduced me to a woman named Valerie. Many years later she would suggest to someone else he meet me. A story pierced through the fabric of the tapestry of my life. A few touchpoints. A thousand opportunities to take off on a tangent. To journey into unknown territory. To step beyond the story of my life as I knew it, into the possibility of my life untold.

Ghosts. Leaping into the void. Stepping free of clinging mists. Flying free of ghosts. In my life I've known many men who would appear to be solid. Today, they're only ghosts. Who they were isn't what made the difference in my life.

Ghosts are simply memories of times when I was not sure of myself. Of a time when I didn't know who I was, what I wanted, where I was going. Ghosts aren't real. They were signposts leading the way to who I am today. What I make of them, makes them real, or not, today. In real time, real life, present time, present life, I know who I am when I walk free of ghosts. My values, morals, principles beliefs. I know what is important to me. And in that knowing, I have the gift of time to be all of me, without fear that the ghosts of what could have been, will hijack the possibilities of what is.

To leap. To step forward free of history. To move into today without fear that yesterday will be tomorrow, requires my attention. It calls for my commitment to being all that I am meant to be when I do not give into my fear that I am not enough to sustain myself through good times, bad times, times when I feel weary and alone. Times when memory lies, and ghosts awaken.

Whatever will be, will be. Que sera sera.

I am free of ghosts when I walk with my eyes wide open to the wonder of my life in freedom. To the awesome power of this moment in which all I have is everything I need to be me.

This morning, I'm okay. Long ago, I knew a man named Grant. He had a friend named Valerie. She had a friend who called with the possibility of a door opening into the unknown. Can't see what I can't see. The future is yet to unfold. Ghosts recede into the mists of yesterday.

One story ends as a new day breaks upon the possibilities of what today may bring and I step free and fly. Fly. There's no fear in falling. Only in being free.

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