A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature
for Bryanna Tidmarsh Do you believe in ghosts? she asked. New world of specters, muffled, masked: now is the moment for this query, when every encounter’s eerie and we can only recognize familiar faces by their eyes. Not quite certain who we see and navigating cautiously, we make our slow and blurry way through the labyrinth of each day. If human faces are concealed by mask or shield or mask and shield, much else now is crystal clear – not that it wasn’t always here, but habit blithely papered over structures we now must rediscover. The virus casts a lurid glow on what we knew and didn’t know, leaving us with no excuse to ignore forces on the loose. In streets now crowded, we can sense history’s weighty consequence, not dead, and therefore not a ghost – the past is never even past. Still, I believe in ghosts: in all the clouds of the invisible the now beset us: memory, injustice, virus, ancestry, the gifts and poisons of each spirit that we unknowingly inherit, the countless energies that fly unnoticed by the human eye. So much, so much we cannot see! That is what ghost means to me. Pandora opened up her jar; out flew the evils, fast and far, famine and pestilence and war. Hope, last, remained inside somehow – hope that sustains us here and now, poised, out most beloved ghost, between the future and the past.
Copyright 2020 Rachel Hadas