The Tug of Ghosts
It seemed to her she was always leaving, or someone was leaving her. Her father disappeared one day when she was ten. Her mother disappeared into a fog of alcohol and mental illness the next year—and now it was her turn to leave her hometown for the last time.
She vowed to never return to the southern city or the moribund southern state. She’d had enough of the oppressive memories, ghosts tugging at her, and retrograde autocrats. She was off.
In the rear view she spotted the rag and bone man kicking the St. Jude statue again, a fitting sight in the high-key sunrise that limned the horizon line in golden-red and turquoise. The bay, a vacant dying sea, would soon flood the shoreline.
“This will all be underwater soon,” the man screamed at her exhaust.
“Good riddance,” she said to the strains of the Butthole Surfers “Moving to Florida.”
“Bye-bye,” she hissed, turned the stereo up and drove north.
“Healing this uncivil war, especially within our own families, is not about changing our minds or even our hearts but first creating a space where we can meet unarmed. Here, an opening can occur. We are not abandoning our principles, but expanding our points of view.”
— Terry Tempest Williams / 7 April 2021, The Boston Globe