Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Trees and the Ghosts and Voodoo Dolls Who Live in Them

On Saturday a couple of us were talking about scary movies, naturally. I don't like them. I claim it's because I have a very vivid imagination and scary things lodge in my head and crop up at inopportune times, like in the middle of the night when I have to wash my hands but can't bring myself to look in the mirror in the dark (because of the Bloody Mary urban legend). Naturally.  

I don't know if I have a vivid imagination factually, because I've never been inside someone else's head so I don't know how I rate. But I assume that's why I like to write stories or listen to people tell me stories—because I can imagine them in my head really well. Seriously. 

And they say writer's live twice, in their head and in real life or something like that. But perhaps I take liberties calling myself a "writer." Though it's better than saying I'm an "artiste" and giving you my card with my name on it with "artiste" written beneath it, like that pretentious guy at the writer's conference I attended when I was 17. I even remember his name. It worked! 

Seriously, though. "Artiste." So pretentious. Like Sassy Gay Friend telling Desdemona to stop saying "Ot-ello, it sounds so pretentious!"

Anyway. So one of the girls there (who's name I withhold because I didn't ask if I could print it here, but she sent me the picture for posting on my blog), told us how she went on a mission trip to the island St. Martin. Outside the church she attended, or built (I didn't get ALL the particulars, but if you're interested, email me), there was this tree with voodoo dolls hanging in it. And she took a picture. When she looked at the picture later there was a creepy woman in the picture. 

I guess I should mention that the woman wasn't there before. The first question I asked when she pulled up the picture on her laptop was, "Is this a double exposure?" Well, no, because it's digital. "Is it photoshopped?" She shook her head vehemently and said she doesn't know how to use Photoshop. From her reaction to the question, I believe her. I even sent the picture to my friend Christy who is a pro at Photoshop (she digitally edits photos for a living) and she said it didn't look shopped.

But Christy thinks the woman looks like a mannequin. Christy is easily frightened by ghosts and has to tell herself lies to be able to live in reality and not crumple into a sobbing ball of fear and anxiety. Makes sense then, for her to find an easy way to dismiss the obvious malevolent ghost in the photo. :) I love you Christy.

Also, Christy has a vivid imagination and has to rationalize ghosts, monsters, and aliens. I do too, but I have no fear of ghosts, while aliens creep me out beyond rational thinking.

Look closely. The woman doesn't look like a mannequin. You can see the tree THROUGH her face.

To me, she looks like a wealthy white woman. Maybe a plantation owner. A dead one. From what I know of St. Martin's history, it's a lot like the other Caribbean islands where they had sugar cane plantations, slaves, and white landowners and all that. So maybe she's cursed? 

Before I saw this picture (I'm not ashamed to tell you), I was pretty skeptical about ghosts and the whole "a ghost appeared in my picture!" thing. But then I got to thinking about ghosts, rituals, and voodoo and the like, and I realized that because I believe in the dual nature of things (sorry to all you deconstruction, post-modernists), it stands to reason that there are rituals and powers of darkness that might be able to bind people.

But THEN, just now I realized, that perhaps covenants and things that bind are in direct opposition to chaos and disorder, which we all know is at the root of all evil things. Hmmmm.

Well, it's a conundrum. Either way, the picture's freaky as hell, no?  


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