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Friday, November 6, 2015

What Haunts You the Most? (BOTB results)



Some mountain town in Ecuador    Photo by Arlee Bird


What Haunts You Most?

        My recent posts at this blog as well as at Wrote By Rote have dealt with the concept of ghosts being a metaphor of our memories or symbolic representations of the things that haunt us in some way.  There are many who believe in the actuality of spiritual or supernatural ghosts while others of us consider the prospect with skepticism.

        I would maintain that though they make great subject matter for fiction, there are no actual ghosts of the supernatural nature.  This post is not to disprove the matter or to examine any evidence regarding the existence of haunting or visitation from a spiritual realm, but to mention the subject in passing.   Personally I think any "ghost" sightings are more a manifestation of evil spirits or entities desiring to deceive us, but that is a subject of a different post.  What I'd like to offer to you is the concept of ghosts as the metaphor as defined in the opening of this post.

       Memories and human emotion can arguably be responsible for imagination that can result in seeing or sensing things, feeling a presence, having undefined fears, experiencing delusional thinking, and other manifestations that might easily perceived as a ghostly presence.  But as it often said, it's a matter of mind.   As we age, that landscape and history of metaphorical ghosts increases in population in our minds.  Could this aspect of aging have some bearing on mind malfunctions of senility, dementia, Alzheimer's, or other disorders?  Does the mind experience overload?

         I'm rambling a bit and don't expect to come to any conclusions in so brief a space.  What haunts us varies according to who we are and what we've experienced.  As for me there a spotty childhood highlights that have impacted me.  High school is almost a blank--too much television perhaps.  My college years are filled with missed opportunities that I sometimes ponder.   Most of my ghosts though are from my later years.  Not recent years, but the years from about age 38 to 58.

          No regrets, not in the respect of things that burden me and suck up mental energy, but merely touchstones that provide me reference.  The ghosts try to haunt me and they do that sometimes.  But they don't do a very good job if they're trying to drag me down.   They just cause me to stop and think for a moment and then move on.  I'm not a ghost hunter by any means, but I am aware that the ghosts are always there.

           Do regrets burden you?   Are your failures and missteps hindrances or learning experiences?  Do you believe in actual ghosts from a spirit world?


And Now...Drum Roll Please!...

Battle of the Bands Results





 "If You Have Ghosts"

         My recent Battle of the Bands post featured the Roky Erickson song "If You Have Ghosts" as performed by John Wesley Harding and Swedish heavy metal group Ghost.  This was a tough for me, but voters cast for a decided winner.

        This song was first introduced to me on the Roky tribute album Where the Pyramid Meets the Eye.  The cover version of "If You Have Ghosts" was performed by John Wesley Harding.   I like the way he does it, a version that I later discovered is very true to Erickson's original version, and Harding's version is the one I'm used to hearing.

        When I heard the band Ghost performing the song I was impressed.  Their version is very smooth listening with skillful delivery.  I very nearly went over to the Ghost version, but then with repeated listening I decided that Harding's version just plain had more to it.  There was more going on with the instrumentation and in the end the vocals were more powerful.

         My vote goes to John Wesley Harding.

Final Vote Count:

John Wesley Harding          9 votes

Ghost                                  23 votes



     
Starting Monday November 9th:
  A Very Special BOTB Week!

       My next Battle of the Bands scheduled for Sunday November 15th will be a very special post. On that day I'll be linking up with our fellow BOTB contributor Guilie Castillo Oriard from Quiet Laughter.   Our song picks will be stylistically similar and both related to a recent book release.

         As many of you might know, Guilie has recently released her book The Miracle of Small Things.   Currently on her blog tour to promote her new book, she will be stopping by Tossing It Out for a guest post on Wednesday November 11th.   During her visit she will not only discuss her book, but also introduce my song pick for my upcoming BOTB post.

         It's unlikely that any hints about the song I might provide ahead of time would give any of you an idea of my song pick since that song is probably one with which you are unfamiliar.  However, Guilie is well aware of my song pick and the artist who sang the original.   Always on a mission to provide musical education, this is one of those songs that I enjoy and hope that you might enjoy as well.    Guilie and I hope you'll expand your musical horizons a bit more with a couple of our favorite songs.   You won't want to miss these posts!





44 comments:

  1. That was a decisive vote.
    Are there ghosts? I know there are demons who could do such ghostly tricks.
    Burdened? Not really. Not a lot I regret. I think a poor memory helps!

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    1. Alex, I definitely have a bad memory about many things, but I'm surprised that you do. I guess we are all selective in what we remember.

      Lee

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  2. Hi, Lee! Thank you for weighing in on ghosts, a topic that has been of keen interest to me since the age of three when my brother started taking me along to theaters and drive-ins to watch horror movies and sharing his horror and fantasy comics with me. I believe in ghosts from the spirit world and often wish that I could make contact and understand the phenomenon. I believe that a ghost would make a great friend. Bearing the burden of a bad rep, ghosts would surely be grateful to have a friendly soul on the other side who is willing to keep an open mind, set aside fear, engage them and learn from them. Here's to the ghosts of friendships past. They will not haunt me and there are no regrets.

    I am pleased to learn that your ears matched mine in your latest band battle. At the same time I am surprised that more people didn't hear what you and I heard. As a courtesy, I will let you know that I will not be connected to the blogs on the 11th through the 14th due to family obligations. I will be back online sometime on the 15th and eager to participate in your BOTB.

    Thank you, Lee!

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    1. Shady, if I did make friends with a ghost I'm still not sure they could be trusted. I think I'll keep my distance, but it is an interesting phenomena.

      I too was somewhat surprised at the divide in the voting though the version by Ghost was probably more modernly mainstream.

      Enjoy your family affairs. That's always more important than blogging.

      Lee

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  3. I think there's something to ghosts and weird things happening. My dad used to joke about 'Willie Jones' being a ghost in our house (he was the original owner who built the house in the 1880s) b/c sometimes strange things would happen.

    And I have a ton of regrets. My failures have been many and they do hinder me cause now I'm too afraid of failing at everything to try anything. I get discouraged so easily.

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    1. JoJo, my advice to you is to try very hard to unburden yourself from those regrets. You can't change the past and dwelling on it can only hold you back. You are immensely talented and you would be better served to share your creativity with the world. It's tough I know, but so is sinking into the mire of regrets.

      Lee

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  4. I picked the loser,
    As for ghosts I don't really know, I've never heard of anyone I know seeing one. I suppose it's one of life's mysteries.
    Yvonne.

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    1. Yvonne, both versions were winners as far as I'm concerned. Some people not only look for the mysteries, but work at creating them. It would take a lot to convince me of any actual ghosts.

      Lee

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  5. I do believe in ghosts, but they don't haunt me. Memories do sometimes, though not to the point of regret for it's those experiences that have shaped me into who I am today and I'm okay with that ;-)

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    1. Diedre, I'm with you about regrets. Haunting memories should be significant points along life's road and not places where we get stuck.

      Lee

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  6. sorry to disagree, good Sir...
    .. there are "things"... I am the one with "mental issues"... it is others who see them here... (except for it being rather noisy a bit over a week ago) they even took a picture of "something" in my hallway...
    ... still did not see anything... it seem to enjoy messing with visitors here... even summoned up a "Dark Thing" a couple of times....
    ... a great weekend to you , good Sir....

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    1. Dr Theda, something is out there I'm sure. I'm just not sure what it is nor do I think I want to encounter it.

      Lee

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    2. Unfortunately, We Have encountered it before....
      ... so we do what we can Not to "Upset" it....
      so mostly try to "ignore".....

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  7. I have never seen a spectre but I have heard things that just don't make sense (my dog and I both heard footsteps in the hall coming towards the TV Room but no one was there). It could be that the past has been superimposed on the present. I have also had dreams about my father-one where he talked with me about my brother-I usually don't have dreams that make sense. I think we can have ghosts either in the present or past that can haunt us. Funny, when I read your post, I immediately thought of my mom who has dementia. I visited her yesterday (I usually see her 3-4 times per week) and she knows who I am but she was tired so her memories were even worse. I really, really miss my mom. She was always there for me and now I comforted her and hugged her as one would hug a child. Tears fell down my cheeks because I was longing for who my mom once was knowing that it would never be. In other words-I had a bad day:) Regarding regrets? I really don't have them. If I did something (or didn't), I realize it was suppose to be that way for me to learn and grow. I often sit back and will ask myself how I will feel if I don't do something, a year from now...or 5 years. If I know I will always wonder then I will do it even if it goes against the status quo.

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    1. Birgit, I can relate to the sadness you feel about your mother. For most of us our mother is a safe harbor where we can seek refuge and when she too is on stormy seas it can be difficult for us. Rather than departing the present with regrets it's better to make the best decisions when we are confronted by them.

      Lee

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  8. A Frank Sinatra song, isn't it. Everyone has at least a few regrets, I am no different. But letting regrets eat you up is letting those win. Failures give opportunities to make better choices. Not a saint here. Just one who kept going.
    Yes, I believe in ghosts.

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    1. Susan, a Frank Sinatra song will not be my next BOTB pick if that's what you're asking. It's natural for regrets to touch us, but not to consume us. That is a waste.

      Lee

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    2. about "regrets".... we have more than a few with which we have to live....

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  9. I've noticed that you and I are not agreeing on BOTB votes as often as we did a year or two ago. Hmmm. Just the vagaries of chance, I reckon. We may see more confluence of taste in upcoming music.

    As for the next BOTB which focuses on her new book "The Miracle of Small Things," I hope you go with Blink 182 vs. Honeywagon on the song "All the Small Things." That would be right up my alley!

    As for regrets, I have more than the stars. I would not say I am "troubled" by them... but I do constantly think about paths taken vs. not taken, and future paths that I may miss if I am not careful.

    In his novel “Look Homeward Angel,” Thomas Wolfe introduced the theme that some mortals were assiduously searching for that “lost lane-end into Heaven.” In the whole of my life, I fancied that I’ve been on that vigil, watching in hope to recognize my personal lost lane-end. Flowing in and out of byways, I am satisfied with my life but do not feel I've come even remotely close to fulfilling my potential. Has my assigned lane-end somehow has eluded me? I don't know.

    Don't believe in ghosts, btw.

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    1. SBB6, the next BOTB song will not be anything from the English language culture which is why I said it's unlikely that anyone would know the song. This won't be last time that I'll explore those realms and I've done it before.

      Anyone who thinks they've attained their full potential has apparently set a low bar for themselves or they're not being particularly honest about their life quest. Sure the regrets are always in the back of my mind and that's where they should stay. When the regrets become my main thinking then it's time for me to find something to divert myself.

      I think ghosts should remain in the realm of the metaphorical and fiction.

      Lee

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  10. Or it could all be leakage from a parallel universe.

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    1. Andrew, well it could I suppose. I like the idea of parallel universes.

      Lee

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  11. I believe in ghosts. I have my reasons. There are differences between malignant beings and ghosts.

    As for regrets, I just try not to accumulate more as I age and that's all I can do.

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    1. Jennifer, I'd need more proof to convince me that ghosts exist. As we age we certainly have a bigger bank of experience to withdraw regrets from, but it's better just to leave that alone.

      Lee

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  12. Lee, I'm with you on ghost sightings. Well, my pick lost this round. Too bad, I'm sad! Not really. lol You pulled together a post topic with an interesting song theme. So, bravo! I can't wait to see what you and Guile come up with on the 15th.

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    1. Cathy, I'm hoping that everyone will enjoy the posts that Guilie and I have in store.

      Lee

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  13. LEE, our votes actually agreed in your Battle. Whaddaya know? See? It DOES happen. Not often, but occasionally.

    Ghosts... there is DEFINITELY something supernatural going on in places. That is a fact with a great deal of evidence to support it. Are these ghosts or demons pretending to be the spirit remains of people who have lived before? Or is it a combination of those two things - sometimes ghosts, sometimes demons?

    I think it's IMPOSSIBLE to know for certain. Therefore, I side with caution and avoid the whole thing. I don't want to be in haunted places and don't want to encourage any form of interaction with these beings - whatever they are. (I have firsthand experiences from the past. Today, I try not to even think about the subject, lest my thoughts be interpreted as invitation.)

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. STMcC, I'm with you on avoiding these kinds of spiritual encounters. I think ghosts and hauntings are from a place I don't want to be. Though it is an interesting topic.

      I don't keep track on all the Battles that everyone does, but I do notice that we tend to agree more often than you'd let on.

      Lee

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  14. I'm not sure if "ghosts" walk this world... but if they do, our conception of them I think is a bit whacked. I thought the last paragraph of that part was telling. Nobody needs a ghost to feel haunted.

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    1. CW, our society sure seems to have a predilection for the supernormal. There's plenty of weirdness to go around for us all without adding spooky ghosts to the mix.

      Lee

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  15. Failures and missteps are learning experiences. Regrets don't burden me, maybe ac little time to digest but not a lot of time to dwell on them. I look forward to your next battle it sounds interesting!

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    1. Mike, maybe not everyone will like the song, but I hope that at least they find the concept of the posts to be interesting.

      Lee

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  16. A lot of ghost sightings probably are figments of the mind - and your proposal about what they stem from is interesting - but for some reason I want to believe ghosts are really real. Then I can blame someone else for all of my things that go missing around here.

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    1. Nicki, I think many of us would like for the concept of ghosts to be real. After all there is the aspect of the entertainment industries that thrives on the existence of ghosts--literature, films, and the Halloween industry.

      Lee

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  17. Oh, no... I missed your Battle!!!! I'm finally back in the land of reliable internet, after a bit of a delay (connecting flight got cancelled last night, had to "sleep" at MIA airport...), but of course it's already the 7th, and I'm already too late :( So sorry, Lee. And—wow, LOVED your intro to this collaboration we're doing next Wednesday! I'm really looking forward to that, especially since it'll play into both our BoTB posts for the 15th... Great idea, Lee—and thank you so, so much!
    Guilie @ Quiet Laughter

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    1. Guilie, no problem having missed the BOTB vote--I understand. I think we'll have a good tie in with your book, my chosen topics for the week, and the Battle day itself.

      Lee

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  18. I, like most people, have lots of regrets. I try not to dwell on them although I can't help but have them slip into my mind from time to time.

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    1. Jax, I don't think there's anyone who doesn't have a load of regrets, but they're not worth getting worked up over them unless there's a way to fix them and that's rare if ever.

      Lee

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  19. Do I believe in ghosts? I've never seen any, but I've felt the presence of spirits. And I wouldn't sleep in a certain room after my brother passed away. It had been his room and still held some of his things. My gut instinct just told me not to and I listened.

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    1. DG, but maybe it's mostly a matter of mind tricks and imagination. I've felt a presence in a number of circumstances and they can be difficult to explain.

      Lee

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  20. Ah, a BATTLE that turned out as it should, IMO.

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    1. FAE, I'm not displeased with the outcome though JWH stayed true to the original spirit of the song.

      Lee

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  21. Several things still haunt me. One of the biggest is not taking my writing serious enough when I was younger. With each passing year, those haunts, make my ultimate goal insurmountable.

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    1. Jeffrey, ah yes, those regrets of misspent youth. I didn't take enough seriously when I was younger either, but, oh, I did have a pretty good time.

      Lee

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Go ahead and say something. Don't be afraid to speak your mind.
I normally try to respond to all comments in the comment section so please remember to check the "Email follow-up comments" box if you want to participate in the comment conversation.

For Battle of the Bands voting the "Anonymous" commenting option has been made available though this version is the least preferred. If voting using "anonymous" please include in your comment your name (first only is okay) and city you are voting from and the reason you chose the artist you did.

If you know me and want to comment but don't want to do it here, then you can send me an email @ jacksonlee51 at aol dot com.

Lee