Engraving of the  Hammersmith Ghost  in  Kirby's Wonderful and Scientific Museum , a magazine published in 1804.

Engraving of the Hammersmith Ghost in Kirby's Wonderful and Scientific Museum, a magazine published in 1804.

For many years I dismissed my friend’s elderly immigrant mother’s stories regarding seeing dead people.
In particular, she saw her sister T and her own husband.

I was too rash.
I’ve begun to see dead people.
The mother of a dear friend of mine.
Alive, we didn’t care much for each other but were bonded by the mutual affection we shared for her daughter.

But there she was one morning walking on the opposite sidewalk.
I don’t think she saw me.
If she had, she’d have called out, she the gossip.
And walking the street a big story of which she’d want to be in the forefront.
Perhaps the dead don’t see.

I’d escaped contact.
Talking to a dead person not significant enough for me to tolerate another inane conversation.

On another occasion, I saw a dear friend from my rock n’ roll days, the huge torsoed man who brought the rock group Boston to the public, their co-manager Charlie McKenzie.
He towered over the crowd in which he found himself.
Gregarious, Charlie.
Loved crowds.
And generous he, keeping a horde of hangers-on in cigarettes, gum, candy bars, pizzas, and drugs.
Until he took me on as his personal manager and I put an abrupt end to it.
He was going broke.
Ultimately, despite the fantastic success of the group, he did.
I dealt with Tom Scholz in working out a separation of Charlie from the band.
Sad.

I didn’t try to make contact.
I knew he was dead.
And it wasn’t appropriate.
East is east.
I saw my mother, she just walking, smiling.
I didn’t try to make contact.
My mother, so easily confused.
How confused would she be to see her alive son?
Painful.

All the ghosts, there are others, shared a certain disassociation from the space they occupied.
Although, dead, could it be said that they really occupied a space?
Dead, would they be even vaguely interested in me? 

272 posts to date. The 5.44% mark of my commitment. A different way of looking at the passage of time: a 13.69-year calendar.  We count by posts, 5,000 being the number that on the day of the start of the blog seemed safe to predict. Still does.  Five thousand. So far away.  And yet I clearly hear: Tick Tock. Translation: Enjoy today.

272 posts to date.
The 5.44% mark of my commitment.
A different way of looking at the passage of time: a 13.69-year calendar.

We count by posts, 5,000 being the number that on the day of the start of the blog seemed safe to predict.
Still does.
Five thousand.
So far away.

And yet I clearly hear:
Tick Tock.
Translation: Enjoy today.

Tagging Today
Tuesday, January 8, 2019
My 272nd consecutive posting, committed to 5,000.

So Monday broke the streak of acceptable weather we’ve enjoyed through December and early January.
Too cold.

But on Tuesday, Boston will return to an acceptable winter temperature with a high of 44*. the touch of precipitation will hardly matter.

Dinner is Bouillabaisse.









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Question of the Day:
Do you believe in ghosts?

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Love your notes.
Contact me @ domcapossela@hotmail.com

From Victor Passacantilli:
Re: Cold winter

Dom, 

I so much enjoy reading the comments from your readers.
The response from "anonymous" resonated so closely with the way I have felt about the winter months in the northeast.
The winters did become "a small test of our grit" and we eventually failed the test.
Consequently, the "Winter Corpse" has chased my wife, Lucille and me to Florida for the past 10 years.

At first for a few weeks, then a couple of months.
Now we love it here in Aventura at Williams Island so much that we are now homesteaded in Florida and return to Winthrop at the beginning of June mainly because of family and my North End friends.
Warm smiles might help Anonymous but they don't work for us.

The caption "le globe de feu dans la salle" transported me back to sophomore year French at BLS and for that I thank you.
Those were cherished years for me.

Sta caldo e bene,

Victor

Web Meister Responds: Nice letter, Victor. No one blames you, that’s for sure.

sixth sense poster.png

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Movie touching fantasy and science fiction.

The Sixth Sense is a 1999 American supernatural horror film written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan.
The film tells the story of Cole Sear (Haley Joel Osment), a troubled, isolated boy who is able to see and talk to the dead, and an equally troubled child psychologist named Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis) who tries to help him.
The film established Shyamalan as a writer and director, and introduced the cinema public to his traits, most notably his affinity for surprise endings.

Released by Hollywood Pictures on August 6, 1999, the film was well-received by critics; praise was given to its acting performances (particularly Willis, Osment, and Toni Collette), atmosphere, and twist conclusion.
The Sixth Sense was the second-highest-grossing film of 1999 (behind Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace), taking about $293 million in the US and $379 million in other markets.
This made it the highest-grossing horror film (in unadjusted dollars) until 2017, when it was surpassed by It.

The film was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director for Shyamalan, Best Original Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor for Osment, and Best Supporting Actress for Collette.

Spirit of the Dead Watching by Paul Gauguin (1892)

Spirit of the Dead Watching by Paul Gauguin (1892)

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Answer to Question:
What are ghosts?
In folklore, a ghost (sometimes known as an apparition, haunt, phantom, poltergeist, shade, specter or spectre, spirit, spook, and wraith) is the soul or spirit of a dead person or animal that can appear to the living.
In ghost-lore, descriptions of ghosts vary widely from an invisible presence to translucent or barely visible wispy shapes, to realistic, lifelike visions.
The deliberate attempt to contact the spirit of a deceased person is known as necromancy, or in spiritism as a séance.

Yūrei (Japanese ghost) from the Hyakkai Zukan, ca. 1737

Yūrei (Japanese ghost) from the Hyakkai Zukan, ca. 1737

The belief in the existence of an afterlife, as well as manifestations of the spirits of the dead, is widespread, dating back to animism or ancestor worship in pre-literate cultures.
Certain religious practices—funeral rites, exorcisms, and some practices of spiritualism and ritual magic—are specifically designed to rest the spirits of the dead.
Ghosts are generally described as solitary, human-like essences, though stories of ghostly armies and the ghosts of animals rather than humans have also been recounted.
They are believed to haunt particular locations, objects, or people they were associated with in life.

While deceased ancestors are universally regarded as venerable, and often believed to have a continued presence in some form of afterlife, the spirit of a deceased person that persists in the material world (a ghost) is regarded as an unnatural or undesirable state of affairs and the idea of ghosts or revenants is associated with a reaction of fear.
This is universally the case in pre-modern folk cultures, but fear of ghosts also remains an integral aspect of the modern ghost story, Gothic horror, and other horror fiction dealing with the supernatural.  

"Hamlet and his father's ghost" by Henry Fuseli (1796 drawing).  The ghost is wearing stylized plate armor in 17th-century style, including a morion type helmet and tassets.  Depicting ghosts as wearing armor, to suggest a sense of antiquity, was common in Elizabethan theater.

"Hamlet and his father's ghost" by Henry Fuseli (1796 drawing).
The ghost is wearing stylized plate armor in 17th-century style, including a morion type helmet and tassets.
Depicting ghosts as wearing armor, to suggest a sense of antiquity, was common in Elizabethan theater.

Another widespread belief concerning ghosts is that they are composed of a misty, airy, or subtle material. Anthropologists link this idea to early beliefs that ghosts were the person within the person (the person's spirit), most noticeable in ancient cultures as a person's breath, which upon exhaling in colder climates appears visibly as a white mist.[25] This belief may have also fostered the metaphorical meaning of "breath" in certain languages, such as the Latin spiritus and the Greek pneuma, which by analogy became extended to mean the soul. In the Bible, God is depicted as synthesizing Adam, as a living soul, from the dust of the Earth and the breath of God.

In many traditional accounts, ghosts were often thought to be deceased people looking for vengeance (vengeful ghosts), or imprisoned on earth for bad things they did during life. The appearance of a ghost has often been regarded as an omen or portent of death. Seeing one's own ghostly double or "fetch" is a related omen of death.

The overwhelming consensus of science is that ghosts do not exist.
Their existence is impossible to falsify, and ghost hunting has been classified as pseudoscience.
Despite centuries of investigation, there is no scientific evidence that any location is inhabited by spirits of the dead.

I’m afraid a spirit might pop out if I open this.

I’m afraid a spirit might pop out if I open this.

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Good morning on this Tuesday, the 8th of January.

We talked about actually seeing ghosts, maybe.
We clarified our presentation of time, dates, and weather,
We read a letter from Victor embracing warm weather.
We read a review of The Sixth Sense.
And we talked about ghosts.

Che vuoi? Le pocketbook?

See you soon.

Love

Dom