Tag Archives: A hero’s journey

If the Dead Talk to You – Ignore Them

Wikipedia image of a ghost
This ghost has the wrong address, I swear, Belinda! You’re much better looking and I don’t even like blondes. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Time_to_let_(her)_go!.jpg

The dead talk to me.

Last night, the voice of a dead man thundered as I lay in bed. I immediately put my book down. I looked around.  In my best Scrooge voice, I asked the ghost to stop toying with me, and I let him know that he might just be an undigested bit of beef.  The voice faded away.

Then, as I started reading again, the dead man’s voice picked right back up.

Why I listened is hard to say.  What can the dead know?  They are, after all, dead, and we alive.  They can be no more than echoes of what was, and we are what is.  For now.

Not realizing his irrelevance, this dead man talked to me as I lay in bed reading.  He told me of a Hero’s Journey, and a thousand myths.

The next day, I promised myself, I would take that book to a graveyard, and bury it there, next to the head stone of one Mr. Campbell.

Some things I know.  Modern story is not about heroes and myths.  It is about the elegance of language.  It is about knowing and breaking the rules.  The modern world has nothing in common with the worlds of old.  We, as human beings in this age, are unique.

I shall not worry about whether the not-yet-living would want to read my book, should I one day be a ghost, I told myself.  I shall not worry about whether my tale illuminates some universal struggle within men and women.  My work is above all that.

It had gotten late, and the fog was wafting in through the open sliding glass door.  There were sounds outside, strange sounds, and I could not see from what they came.

Being a modern man, I Googled poltergeists, then I fell asleep to kitten videos on the Internet, as the sound of chains rattling crept into my dreams.

When I woke inside my sleep, a journey I had no interest in undertaking awaited me.  But I knew the plan.