Telling Ghosts To Go

We all live with ghosts, and today is a day mine make their presence known more than others.

I wanted to write something about the ghosts we live with, and then Jamie went and said the things I wanted to, only much better… so read his words below instead…

What does it mean when something is haunted? What exactly is a ghost?

Is it when something from the past refuses to leave? Is it when something dies but doesn’t go?

It’s easy to talk about haunted places. A haunted house. A haunted building. We smile at those stories. We get excited. There is no stigma, no shame. But what about haunted people? Isn’t it true that, as people, our lives can become haunted things as well? The past can haunt the present. The past can steal the future.

Isn’t that what most of this is about? Something painful in our past? Something breaks or something dies and in living with the pain, we begin to live with ghosts. And by our choices, we either ask the ghosts to leave or we help them make a home.

If we can talk about haunted buildings, then we should be able to talk about haunted people. We should be able to put a hand up and say, “I’m not doing well” or “I need some help” or “Can we talk?”

Maybe we begin to ask the ghosts to leave when we begin to ask some other folks to join us in our haunted places. In the broken parts of stories. Our messes and our questions. To meet us, to know us, to help, to care, to listen.

Maybe we begin to help our friends become unhaunted when we let them know we’re not afraid of their pain. When we ask to really know them. When we ask to see inside. When we do our part to go beyond the distance and the smile, deeper to “who are you?” and “how are you?” and “are you okay?”

i have been a haunted house. i have had things die but stay and i didn’t know how to make them leave. And there were certainly times i didn’t want them to leave because they were beautiful. They were no longer real but they were beautiful. They were bridges to brighter days. i thought they were my dreams.

But reality is the best place to live. Reality is where healing happens. In the honest light and by the voices of our friends.

We all have our past. We all have our pain. We will all know ghosts from time to time. But if our life is like a building, then we should open our doors to let some people see inside. And into our darkest places – into those rooms that hold our fears and dreams – we will begin to walk together. Friends with hope like candles, telling ghosts to go.

So may we open the doors, shine light into dark places, and tell the ghosts to go…

A Heart of Tenderness

“An additional effect of understanding God as the heart of tenderness is reconciliation. Seen from a biblical perspective, reconciliation isn’t primarily making up with another person; it’s making peace within ourselves in that dimension of our lives where we’ve previously been unable to find peace. Reconciliation is the inner healing of our hearts by the tenderness of Jesus.”

[Brennan Manning]

More Than Just Art

“You are more than a creative and what you do is more than just art. You are a prophet, taking everyday, mundane things and shaping them into something to proclaim the life- giving message of the Gospel to the world around you.”

[Tim Schraeder, in Creative Matters]

Once, Knew How To Talk To You

Part of me
Has Died
And won’t return
And part of me
Wants to hide
The part that’s burned

Once, once
Knew how to talk to you
Once, once
But not anymore

Hear the sirens call me home
Hear the sirens call me home
Hear the sirens call me home
Hear the sirens call me home

Talk Me Through The Night

“there is certainly much at stake. i don’t know your story or your dreams or the things that steal your sleep, but i know they matter. i hope your story is rich with other characters, rich with friends and conversation. i hope you know some people who will carry you and i hope you get to carry them. i hope that there is beauty in your memories and i hope it doesn’t haunt you. And if it does, then i hope there is someone who will talk you through the night and remind you of the promise of the sunrise, that beauty keeps coming, that there are futures worth waiting for and fighting for and that you were made to dream.”

Jamie never fails to write words that move me.

Clutch The Knob Tightly

I have been falling in love with poetry all over again lately, and in particular performance poetry. There is something that moves me so deeply when I listen to words being performed; the rhythm and the cadence, the beat.

I recently discovered the IndieFeed: Performance Poetry podcast, and have been listening to it non-stop for the last few days. There is such a wealth of good material in it, it’s worth digging through the archives if you like what you hear.

My favourite piece so far is probably still Anis Mojgani’s “Shake The Dust”. He performed it at TWLOHA Heavy & Light tour recently, where this was recorded…

“When the world knocks at your front door
Clutch the knob tightly
And open on up…”