This post is part of the April A-Z Blogging Challenge, wherein participants blog throughout the month according to the letters of the alphabet. For more on the challenge, click here.
Note: If anyone wondered, I tagged the blog as having adult content due to a few factors: one, strong language; two, the possibility that excerpts I post may have graphic descriptions of sex or violence and therefore unappealing to some readers. Never fear, though, I’ll be sure to warn y’all if a post of that nature comes up! In the meantime, feel free to read on!
Yes, this post is late, I can’t avoid admitting that. Sorry. I woke up this morning feeling like ten pounds of yuck in a five-pound bag.
Cheers and happy ABC’ing,
“Over the years” is a phrase we hear fairly often. “Over the years, their marriage fell apart.” “Over the years, she lost her joie de vivre.” I think there’s a reason for that. Certainly things can change from day to day, week to week, and month to month, but a year is a substantial chunk of time. Someone you see less frequently won’t be aware of the minutiae going on in your life the way a friend you see regularly will be. When you see people less often, you condense what’s been going on your life and give them the highlights, the big news that’s most important, even if it’s not always good. As well, the person who has lived many years might be better able at hiding how they really feel than, say, a child who hasn’t yet learned that (unfortunately) the world expects us to restrain our emotions.
Getting more to the point, there’s a quote from a favourite book of mine that goes like this:
No, it doesn’t. At best, time is the great leveler, sweeping us all into coffins. We find ways to distract ourselves from the pain. Time is neither scalpel nor bandage. It is indifferent. Scar tissue is not a good thing. It is merely the wound’s other face.”
I find this quote particularly fitting for the ghosts Darcy encounters in H(A)UNTED. Some of the ghosts, like Charles Lawson’s and Beatrice Crawford’s, are the emotional scar tissue of the lives they lived, grieving now for the losses they suffered in life but could not face. Others, like Eliza, have become splintered, not healing properly so that the scarring is jagged and noticeable. And then on the other end there’s Jack, whose end was arguably the most violent of all, and who now wears what he’s become in death like a mask to avoid giving himself away.
And if you think the living can’t play this game, you’re wrong. Gage wears his wrongs like armour and will deal ruthlessly with anyone who tests it for weakness. Darcy uses her experience in dealing with potentially volatile ghosts to help her deal with both the living and the dead. Noah has distracted himself from the parts of his past that hurt and done his best to move on by ignoring them.
The years go by and we all change, living and dead. Whether we change for the better? That’s the tricky part.