GhostsNovember 1, 2011
The show, last night, took place in a stately home, once residence to none other than Anne Boleyn.
The excellent Miserable Rich and I, are performing ghost-stories, up and down the country, in venues such as crypts and haunted libraries.
It may have been sleep-deprivation, caffeine, or merely my own pervading confusion, but the setting of one of the country’s most haunted houses that evening encouraged in me the notion, that we all know we are surrounded, constantly, by spirits. That we are never alone, only we work tirelessly on denying and shutting them out of our senses, and that we could save alot of energy, if we were to allow ourselves to see them.
Belonging, as it does, to the National Trust, and thus unoccupied, it is a house for no-one. So, certainly spirits will occupy it.
I met my own face in the 12ft mirror, yards of vintage silk up and down the walls behind me. My stubble, my trendy fake-army coat, my unkempt features and my living eyes all said, in a juvenile and vibrant tone, “We are here, now, we’ve taken over your realm.”
But the mammoth oils of times gone by, gold-framed and clothed in clotted black corners, didn’t comment that such class-distinction begets itself, nor point out that my artsy-middle-class-workers-unite-indignance was ridiculous, nor even mention that their own class was alive and well, only residing elsewhere…
No. The old paintaings behind me leered only this:
“We had our doings.
We had them to the full.
Come after that
If you can”
Kept so well, the house of no-one has everything, just as the house of everyone might have nothing.
Trade ‘house’ for ‘home’ in that sentence, and the meaning, I believe, would be reversed.
Can I see an incling anywhere, of what was known as love, here. Has it rotten and evaporated with the years, or was it a fatal secret, all, in the first place.
For it was here, one way or another – living is love.
Perhaps we’d say it is fatal secret even now, often only visible due to its secrecy.
What a dark and rare beauty of a house, exquisite in its wealth, its artistry, its finery, with each depicted visage insinuating an ugly or unsettled intent.