Saturday, October 17, 2009

shadows of shadows

I have thinking a lot about my relationship with ghosts, how I'm scared of and enraptured by them, how I've never seen one and how I hope to. It's complicated. But even more complicated is the idea of how to draw them outside of the Hollywood model of what ghosts look like-- how do you draw something that isn't there? I guess the ghost stories that I'm most interested in are the ones where nothing is ever seen-- stories in which the ghosts anonymously do things, move things around, make noises, eat at tables, but are never seen. My friend Adrienne has stories about hearing ghosts walking on her roof. Anna Whitehead has ghost stories from living in Philadelphia where the room drastically went cold and the light changed. Hannah Ireland told me that when she was teaching at a girls orphanage in France that one night a large window in one of the dormitories kept unlocking and swinging open on a windless night. Perhaps that is the best way to draw ghosts--to draw their bodiless actions-- coffee being sipped from a mug and spilling all over a chair, an empty swing being swung in, a floating pen writing a letter.

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