Spirits In The Wind

Photo by Raine Nectar on Pexels.com

When you hear the wind but don’t feel it, it’s magical, like spirits who have chosen to tousle the high leaves on the trees but not your hair. It’s within that absence of presence that a nature-led person can find a new awareness. Does the wind have a mind of its own? What does it mean to be in possession of a mind in the first place?

The “mind” of a human consists of two parts, the physical brain riding around at the control center of our meatsuits and the spiritual mind that connects the conscious and unconscious rhythms to our soul. Physic law: Energy is neither created nor destroyed. We are made of energy, as much as we are of blood and muscle. Our synapses fire, we are alive! What happens when our synapses fail to fire? Are we dead in a way that we no longer exist? But we are still made of energy, right? Our body may die, but I don’t believe that we, “the conscious self “, dies. We only become untethered from this mortal suitcase.

I could tell you that I’ve seen and heard people after they’ve died, but then your logical brain will tell you I must be crazy and now I’ve become an unreliable narrator. So here’s Carl Jung who says it beautifully in a way I hope you can feel.

At times I feel as if I am spread out over the landscape and inside things, and am myself living in every tree, in the splashing of the waves, in the clouds and the animals that come and go, in the procession of the seasons. There is nothing in the Tower that has not grown into its own form over the decades, nothing with which I am not linked. Here everything has its history, and mine; here is space for the spaceless kingdom of the world’s and the psyche’s hinterland.

Carl G. Jung

Joe and I got along well. We met through a mutual friend. He owned a pub a block down the street from my apartment. We were all taking Network Administration courses at the local community college. Where once “plastics” were the future, we now knew it to be computers. We waxed poetically between beers about man and machines. Then I saw it. Joe with his body sitting, but his spirit standing behind him. He was consciously preserving the moment, capturing the memory with his mind. He’d be taking a trip soon. This was his way of pocketing a snapshot within his conscious mind.

The group decided to move off to somewhere else, maybe another pub, maybe a jam session in Jason’s basement. People who like playing with computers also like trying to make instruments sing. I prefer to be a heartbeat that keeps time and melts into the background. I like to fade in and out of the peripheral. The inference- the spaces in-between- is where I can most often be found. Sometimes I pick up a shaker egg, or tambourine, but it’s the hand drums that often call me out. I used to be part of drum circle. Few things are sadder to me than the idea of a drum circle of one. Not much of a circle then, is it? If I’m an echo of call and response, then asking me to reverberate off myself sounds hollow.

I made lame excuses about why I had to ride with Joe and no one else. I said it was because I wanted to listen to Bach instead of Def Leopard and I wanted those warm heated-leather seats (which was also true, because it was bitterly cold that night.) He was the only one of us that was a real adult with actual adult things like a house he owned, a long-term relationship, and a car that wasn’t older than him by necessity. He’d been a successful day trader who’d exited right before the dotcom bust. Now he was dying.

As Joe pulled out of the parking lot, I asked him how long he had to live and what he was dying from. He was visibly taken aback, side-eyed me for a moment then focused back on the road. “Pancreatic cancer, maybe nine months, but probably two.” He said. “How did you know?”

“I saw you taking pictures with your mind. You were capturing the moment as if to take some piece of us with you.” I said. “I’ve been around death long enough to know when someone’s checking out of Hotel Corporeal.” He laughed, then told me not to tell any of the others. I argued profusely. His long-time, live-in girlfriend didn’t even know! “Don’t make me sit on this.” I begged. “Give them a chance to say Goodbye!” I complained. He wouldn’t hear of it, he thought maybe their anger would help them through the pain, but more than that, he didn’t want them looking at him with pity. I felt that.

There was a time when I was young. I had a lot of pride until my innocence was violently taken in shame. It wasn’t the act itself that devastated me so much. In fact, had there been no witnesses I likely could have flushed the memory into a mnemonic blackhole, but there were witnesses. When those who had seen what happened turned away from me with pity in their eyes, something broke within me. I found only blinding rage for solace. My face was hot and red, my vision was colored red and my body worked itself into shades of back and blue. In my raw anger I saw only myself and attributes I felt need to be fixed. Pride turned to judgement. I became a nihilistic hunter of knowledge.

The power within you is the power of knowing what you’re capable of. I trained to be faster, smarter, and stronger than everyone else around me. I siphoned knowledge like everyone else was a sieve. I created. I destroyed. I manipulated. I sacrificed. I took from some and gave to others. I don’t believe we are made in any gods reflection; they are made of us. Their stories reflect the human experience. We file them down into digestible components of virtues, parables, and chapter books as teaching tools. We are the gods and like the stories I learned temperance through age.

So here I was, many years later riding with a dying man who doesn’t want anyone to look at him with pity in their eyes. He died roughly two weeks later. I never said a word. You can’t pity him now. He was seen, but also heard and that’s one less hungry ghost to worry about.

What is he thinking when he plays in the wind? When he refuses to mess with my hair? In that space of absence, the known spirit says, “I am here.”

13 thoughts on “Spirits In The Wind

  1. Goodness, Melanie, I’m now in my senior years and through the lockdown, I have thought a great deal about spirit, about my legacy, about the voices from the trees, the wind, the waters! They DO exist but we are so often metaphorically deaf and blind.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you for your comment, Ashley! I’m glad parts of this post resonated with you. My experience with the pandemic has been similar to yours even though I would be considered middle age.

      I’m currently sandwiched between raising a child too young to receive the vaccine and both parents battling Parkinson’s disease. When I look at them I see them as they were, as they are, and as they will be. When other people look at them, they see them only as they currently are, people with Parkinson’s disease.

      Liked by 3 people

    2. Dear Melanie and Ashley,

      This is another insightful post to flow from the experiences of Melanie’s well-lived life. I particularly like the inquisitive, evocative and thought-provoking introduction:

      When you hear the wind but don’t feel it, it’s magical, like spirits who have chosen to tousle the high leaves on the trees but not your hair. It’s within that absence of presence that a nature-led person can find a new awareness. Does the wind have a mind of its own? What does it mean to be in possession of a mind in the first place?

      There are various avenues to fathom those questions, and many ways to perceive or apprehend the presence and influence of the wind. I have attempted to reflect on some related issues in a multipronged fashion via the ancient wisdom of a bygone culture, which I have both translated and analyzed in great detail in my post entitled Strong Wind Knows Tough Grass” published at https://soundeagle.wordpress.com/2020/11/11/strong-wind-knows-tough-grass/

      Once again, thank you, Melanie, for sharing with us your story and deep reflections concerning your journey with Joe.

      May both of you have a wonderful week ahead!

      Yours sincerely,


  2. With sadness comes such strength and hope. After reading this, it simply confirms my desire to trade expectation with acceptance. Wind has a mi d of its own. Good writing Melanie! Thank you for your insightful shapes!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much for your first comment here! I try to find the balance between expectation and acceptance. We always need things to look forward too! Its what makes getting out of bed worthwhile! I have the expectation of having coffee most days, but I accept that most of the time it’ll be made by me in the coffee pot and not a fancy whipped concoction made by a Barista.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Melanie, this is wonderful and powerful. Your experience with Joe is pretty amazing and probably gave him some comfort too. Thank you for sharing your story. Much gratitude.
    And, I am not sure what is happening with my notifications but I haven’t seen your last few posts! I need to fix that.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Mark!

      Maybe you were “Following” and then some how accidentally “Unfollowed”. I typically only post once a week, sometimes we post twice a week, particularly when Patricia is able to share some poetry with us.

      Liked by 1 person

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