Sometimes a breath floats by me
An odor from Dreamland sent,
Which makes the ghost seem nigh me
Of a something that came and went,
Of a life lived somewhere, I know not
In what diviner sphere.....
A something too vague, could I name it,
For others to know:
As though I had lived it and dreamed it,
As though I had acted and schemed it
James Russell Lowell, 1819-1891
Sometimes a Breath Floats By Me
Another dimension, another era? What is time but an illusion.
And life… the illusion for the soul.
Koontz Lake. The Midwest, at the southern tip of Lake Michigan.
Which Makes the Ghost Seem Nigh Me....
Of A Something That Came and Went
‘We are on a journey through which we will eat and sleep and dream.
Understand all that is given in this life is not ours to own for we are not here to live.
And prepare to be asked to return to the Maker of Life and to end the journey in peace.’
The Sacred Soul
One day too soon her time would be exhausted with the pain of her husband dying. Scraping the stir fry from lunch into freezer containers, Lindsay decided she would appreciate these leftovers better then instead of tomorrow. Yes, this was better, another meal saved for when she couldn’t bear to leave Sam’s side.
A shadow made her turn toward the stairway. A spring breeze tickled through her and she jumped from her great-uncle standing at the end of the galley kitchen.
“Uncle Herron!” She started toward him. He must have come in the side door. “I must not have heard you-” But she stopped, knowing that though his gaze called her, he wasn’t really there. Gray eyes, as dark as hers. His black hair pulled back, still not a gray hair at eighty-three. She wanted to say that to him. Could he hear her?
The new phone trilled. She squealed and he was gone.
Caller identification listed the steel mill. “Daniel?” she said shrill as the phone then realized she forgot to censor herself. What if this was Sam’s foreman?
“Hey- Lindsay.” Daniel’s voice was too close to her ear. There wasn’t a chair by the phone at her new cottage, no place to claim her balance. She pulled her dark hair to the nape of her neck, hanging on, keeping vigil on Uncle Herron’s corner. “There you are, Daniel, hi. Sam’s going to be back from the video store in a bit. He took a movie over and is getting another.”
Goodness, such jabbering, the way she had for almost twenty years when what she needed to say wasn’t right for anyone……….
She glanced into the living room and a head of floppy, gray hair ducked away from the window. She gawked, withholding a curse.
“I was thinking,” Daniel was telling her, “I have that lift chair for Sam, so, hey, if you two are going to be around, I’ll swing over after I get off.”
Hoping to see the spy by the window, she attempted jumping for height but had none, then vaulted as far as the phone cord allowed. “We’ll be home, Daniel,” she promised, knowing he would be disappointed if she wasn’t. He admitted that nine years ago. Nothing changed…………..
They hung up and she checked where Uncle Herron had stood, then strolled to the front east window, nonchalantly looking for the gray-headed spy…………
No one was outside except a little woman on a Harley taking the corner at ‘the point’ real slow. She wore a sleeveless plaid flannel shirt, and when she gave the thumbs up sign Lindsay raised a hand to acknowledge her then closed the windows and the layers of lace and sheers………...
One more time she checked Uncle Herron’s corner of the kitchen, which was by a never used door to the outside and a narrow stairway to three bedrooms………
The phone rang and she recognized the number of a past acquaintance she didn’t want to see ever again. Gooee, who she met in pottery class and had avoided for the last several months. She was not about to answer. But how did that woman get her new unlisted number? …………
She practically rolled her eyes. Goodness, she had to stop doing that, she was seeing little light bubbles clustered in front of her chest like the ones she noticed on moving day. She tried blowing them away but they didn’t swish, didn’t blow, only grew like a swell of snowflakes frozen in place. She pulled the vacuum out of the closet and turned the hose on them. They gathered into a tight cluster and refused to move. Now she knew her vision had pushed her to the point of glasses.
She wandered right into the bubbles, through the French doors into the bedroom. Her room. She smoothed the new silken sage bedspread. Before long Sam would be sleeping on this bed instead of upstairs.
Through another set of aligned French doors to the outside deck, she noticed a woman with long blonde hair strolling the lake lane. She wore a lavender jacket and long skirt.
Gooee always wore long skirts. Stop that! Stop thinking about Gooee.
As she closed another window, she could hear the woman singing a hypnotic tune that swelled on the stinging lake wind. Lindsay almost expected something to happen, felt a surge into a predictable moment. A familiar moment. A dream… from long ago? No, no.
She dressed as she would have even if Daniel wasn’t on his way. Fluffy cream-colored socks that kept her shins warm. Matching cardigan buttoned to her chin, long French jersey skirt in stormy gray. Her rounded figure was warmly shrouded, nothing visible but her thick fingers and indistinct, flat-planed face. Gray eyes with charcoal lashes blinked in the reflection of the white chifforobe mirror as she studied a new scar under her right jaw………
And though Lindsay could feel Gooee out there tracking her like the robust polar after the wayward seal, she lied to herself. She told herself she was secure in a new home. She was.
Calm now. But what was there to be calm about, she wondered. She tried detangling her hair with her fingers, then gave up and touched the rounded cheeks dolloped too high on broad, flat cheekbones. Was it the new mirror, or did her cheeks seem more pink than ever, too healthy, too happy when her husband was dying.