Listening to Ghosts

In recent years, I have developed an obsession with abandoned places and things and as a result, I am driven to capture their ghosts and their stories with my camera. When I first stop and contemplate one of these deserted structures, I listen. I listen to the energy yet emanating  from those who had once been there. I wonder what passed under the roofs of these haunted places. I ponder about what life was like and why they were abandoned. Then I question – why am I so fixated on these ghosts of a time now past? First there is the church I came across in the Finger Lakes with its broken windows, chipped paint and wild bushes threatening to swallow it whole.

Then there is the bomb shelter hidden away in woods now luring nearby teens for secret sessions of drinking and smoking, far from parents’ watchful eyes. Sadly, once it had been a place for protection and safety.  I think the doghouse saddens me most, once home to a vibrant, bouncing beloved dog and now relegated to the back fields to rot away, out of sight from hearts that still mourn its passing years later. The grotto is next. I have written about it before, but it shall always haunt me. And the power plant where the imaginary woman in my make-believe story was murdered by ghosts who threw her into its pit.

Abandoned Church in the Finger Lakes
Abandoned Church in the Finger Lakes
Power Plant1
Abandoned Power Plant

And so I continue on  my quest to find those abandoned places where I will meet the ghosts that linger and perhaps carry on their legacies in simple pictures and words.

Abandoned Bomb Shelter
Abandoned Bomb Shelter
Grotto 1
Abandoned Grotto
Abandoned Dog House
Abandoned Dog House

The Lesson

IMG_0022

 

I like winter. But I am now done with winter. I was done with winter two months ago. I have become one with the cacophony of complaining souls about this most brutal and relentless of winters. Even on this April 5th morning we had yet another inch. But despite the weather’s refusal to let go, there are other creatures and beings whose mission it is to march on – now past March and into April. I found some of these amazing life forms beside our house the other day. They stopped me cold with their tenaciousness and bravery.  Smiling, I went back into the house that day. I thought, you never know from whence the lesson comes.  IMG_0024

Nick DiChario

Reader, writer, life-long mistake-maker

Judith Shenouda

Author of Living Well in Froggy's World of Plenty: Sweet Talk to Read Aloud; A Bisl of This, A Bisl of That: Eating Our Way; and Career Success in 12 Easy Steps: A Journal; and Owner of Shenouda Associates Inc., Provider of Technical, Marketing, and Business Communications

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