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Thursday, March 22, 2018

Walking With Spirits



A friend posted a pic of the art installation in Grand Park Metro station in Los Angeles, where it displayed a bunch of people hanging/falling/flying mid-air. The common sentiment was: "I hate it. It's creepy."

I replied that it doesn't creep me at all, and maybe it's because of my upbringing where stories and folklore of people and spirits flying through the air is a common thing. It's spooky as sh*t when you see it, but still a common thing.

Wait, it actually happened? Uh… yea. Ghost stories are abundant back home, especially if you are raised in remote areas. But even among the metropolis city dweller, there are always stories to tell about ghouls and spirits.

For many of us, the concept of psychic reader that read your fortunes is a laughable and weird concept. Psychic power means you can talk and negotiate with spirits and others from the underworld, or with the soul inside you.

"Dead body animated by sorcery? Not happening here," said our guide in Toraja, known for its infamous zombie walk, "With easy access of the road, we can now bring the corpse directly instead of having to animate it through the jungle." 

"Were you praying and calling out to Queen of The Sea?" asked a man on the beach, his face was pale with awe and excitement. We nodded. He laughed gleefully, "I just saw Her carriage disappear into the waves! Bless us all!!"

"Yeah, someone was attacking us on the Night of the Silent Day. Every adult men were chased and choked in their dream," I overheard my family convo. The 13-year-old me saw them bore the same red mark on their necks that morning.

It's mutual hallucination. It's the effort to bring sense to this mad world. It's stupidity because shouldn't we all believe in science and provable facts already? I mean, come on. It's 2018, fellas. We don't even have smallpox anymore.

Yet out there, the story of Wakanda which relies on the ancestors and the great Spirits is not really something new. It is a part of our way of life. Modernization comes and erodes some of it, chipping away the unneeded one, yet still it exists.

And if you don't believe in spirits, will you believe in emotion? Will you believe in life power of animals and plants and human? Which will explain why abandoned places feel so haunting and how forests seemed to be full of 'things'.

The emotion we feel linger. It permeates the physical condition around us. The life force around us linger, traces of life that we can still sense even after the said life is gone. You can call it whatever you want, it will still be there.

This way of thinking allows me to respect my surrounding, be it living things or inanimate objects. I don't want to force myself into places or areas, and I am mindful of how I act. You can call it having a sixth sense, I called it being empathetic.

In 'normal' world, I came out as polite and thoughtful. I will be damned to say it didn't help me in my daily life. Privately, I am at ease with myself and in tune with things around me. Which again, a massive help in my life.

It is sad to hear that to some the flying men art was connected to 9/11 and suicide, where for me it reminds me of magical stories from my childhood. If you do feel that way, look up and tell them it's ok. They're ok now. 

I know that no amount of well-wishing can be a substitute for therapy after traumatic incidents. But it is not just them that you are wishing well, it is your self too. So look up and smile and wish them a peaceful rest. 

And one day, we'll be able to see things as magical once more. Instead of falling people, we'll see them flying freely. And we will walk with the spirits once more, or finally realizing we have done so already. One day. One day.

1 comment:

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    ReplyDelete

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