January 6, 2008

Quote of the Day

The spirit of opposition is not a creative spirit. Acts of opposition are not creative acts. The goal of healing is not to oppose, which comes from fear, but to create, which comes from hope.

January 1, 2008

ghostbox 1.1 - video addendum

music: "floating opera" by tom servo of doomtree

December 30, 2007

Starting My Virtual Ghostbox - Entry #1

I mentioned the book ghostbox: a memoir in my last post. One of the tips of the book is to get a box that has some significance. Walt, the author, collects shoe boxes because they are handy. He uses a shoe box from the shoes he wore for his wedding. I don't like shoe boxes. I have so many things, that I'll probably use a banker box and maybe decorate it with words or images.

I've decided to start my ghostbox, and finally have conversations with the ghosts that sit on my shoulders, collect dust on my shelves, and dance in my dreams. I've decided, at least in part, to share these reflections in stream of consciousness reflections here on my blog. Maybe I'm not *really* ready to share all of the stories but I find that the only way to really get started, is to jump in and start. I've decided I'll film, scan, and digitally document the pieces that will go in my physical box. Maybe putting all the pieces together will help me move along the physical process, and through this I'll find the emotional connections to my memories, history, and identity.

In the book these are the passages that I've underlined; I feel a connection to these words:

- British sociologist Paul Gilroy says, "we make our identities, but with inherited resources and not under conditions of our own choosing." (116)

- the power of sharing ghost stories, even with strangers... (123)

- Ghostboxes help us write and organize ghost stories. Specifically... (1) help us understand the conditions that produced the initial traumas; (2) allow us to rectify mistakes we've made as a result of those traumas, to atone for our roles in perpetuating discord; and (3) aid in efforts to create new knowledge and processes to live as more complete individuals. Mental health professionals teach us that when traumatized, the body shuts down some of its functions to protect the overall health of the person. We can use ghostboxes to help restart those systems and really experience life's possibilities... maybe for the first time. (10)

-The ghostbox first taught me to stop denying the existence of ghosts, then it helped me me learn to productively hear them.

First entry: Killer Cancer Cells, circa 1995
Envelope marked: Patient: Ana Raimist / Dr. Armstrong
Contents: Slides of Samples from my mother's cancer diagnosis

I found this envelope in December of 1998 when my brothers and I cleaned out my parents home in Middletown, NY. I was in my old bedroom (well, the first of my old bedrooms, I moved to my brother's bigger rooms when they went off to college), and on the bottom shelf of the old, brown bookcase was this envelope. I had a huge pile of things that shipped to my home (in LA at that time). I quietly and sort of secretively slipped this envelope into a box. I don't know why I hid this from my brothers, I just felt like I wanted this piece of my Mom. I hate(d) those cancer cells for eating away at her, for taking her away from me. Today I take them from the filing cabinet where they've sat for 9 years...


I've never opened them, and actually looked at them until now.