St. Hildegarde (via spoliamag)
"The buried speech of the parent will be (a) dead (gap) without a burial place in the child. This unknown phantom returns from the unconscious to haunt its host and may lead to phobias, madness, and obsessions. Its effect can persist through several generations and determine the fate of an entire family line" - N. Abraham and M. Torok
Caedmon’s Hymn is a short Old English poem originally composed by Cædmon, an illiterate cowherd, in honour of God the Creator. It survives in a Latin translation by Bede in his Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum and in vernacular versions written down in several manuscripts of Bede’s Historia. The Hymn itself was composed between 658 and 680 and recorded in the earlier part of the 8th century. It is Cædmon’s sole surviving composition
Nu sculon herigean heofonrices weard,
meotodes meahte and his modgeþanc
weorc wuldorfæder, swa he wundra gehwæs
ece drihten, or onstealde.
He ærest sceop eorðan bearnum
heofon to hrofe, halig scyppend;
þa middangeard moncynnes weard
ece drihten, æfter teode
firum foldan, frea ælmihtig
Now [we] must honour the guardian of heaven, the might of the architect,
and his purpose, the work of the father of glory as he, the eternal lord,
established the beginning of wonders.
He, the holy creator, first created heaven as a roof for the children of men.
Then the guardian of mankind, the eternal lord, the lord almighty,
afterwards appointed the middle earth, the lands, for men.
In June 1836 five young boys, hunting for rabbits on the north-eastern slopes Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh, found 17 miniature coffins hidden inside a cave.
They were arranged under slates on three tiers, two tiers of eight and one solitary coffin on the top. Each coffin, only 95mm in length, contained a little wooden figure, expertly carved with painted black boots and custom made clothes.”
"Most people here would say they do not believe," Sirgent said, "but if they don’t believe, then why is there so much evidence of fear?" He means that, if you look closely, certain graves show evidence of superstition not just in the images on and appearance of the graves themselves but also in the traditions of grave-keeping and visitation. Many graves collect charms or flowers en memoriam, but what about a particularly desecrated grave — an angel whose right wing is continuously broken, on top of which one day is planted a garden of very specific apotropaic herbs with a silver spoon staked in the middle, an element of vampire protection in some folklore?
"What they call a phantom is the presence of a dead ancestor in the living Ego, still intent on preventing its traumatic and usually shameful secrets from coming to light.
One crucial consequence of this is that the phantom does not, as it does in some versions of the ghost story, return from the dead in order to reveal something hidden or forgotten, to right a wrong or to deliver a message that might otherwise have gone unheeded.
On the contrary, the phantom is a liar; its effects are designed to mislead the haunted subject and to ensure that its secret remains shrouded in mystery. In this account, phantoms are not the spirits of the dead but the ‘lacunae left inside us by the secrets of others.”
(more on Nicholas Abraham and Maria Torok’s work, from Haunted Subjects)
"Abraham and Torok’s theories of intergenerational haunting add to this the idea that when we internalize or encrypt within our psyches persons to whom we are closely related, we also internalize whatever is or was in their unconscious, including their secrets, even secrets unknown to them,
secrets passed down in a family via messages conveyed by what its members avoid mentioning directly but glance at through verbal allusions and by what the family does not say.
Families may carry ancestral secrets without consciously knowing it.”
this looks great: http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/pan/summary/v001/1.1.hunter.html
I wanted so ably
to reassure you, I wanted
the man you took to be me,
to comfort you, and got
up, and went to the window,
pushed back, as you asked me to,
the curtain, to see
the outline of the trees
in the night outside.
The light, love,
the light we felt then,
greyly, was it, that
came in, on us, not
merely my hands or yours,
or a wetness so comfortable,
but in the dark then
as you slept, the grey
figure came so close
and leaned over,
between us, as you
slept, restless, and
my own face had to
see it, and be seen by it,
the man it was, your
grey lost tired bewildered
brother, unusued, untaken-
hated by love, and dead,
but not dead, for an
instant, saw me, myself
the intruder, as he was not.
I tried to say, it is
all right, she is
happy, you are no longer
needed. I said,
he is dead, and he
went as you shifted
and woke, at first afraid,
then knew by my own knowing
what had happened -
and the light then
of the sun coming
for another morning
in the world.