Sunday, February 14, 2010

Ghosts in the Museum

What word do you use, ghosts or spirits? If they are benign, I call them spirits. If they bother me or anyone else, I call them ghosts. Yesterday I saw plenty at the Historical Society Museum in York, Pennsylvania.

It started with a small pair of gloves. From those gloves, hands emerged. From those hands, a woman emerged, a serene lady who hated to clean, loved tea, and liked gloves because they covered her red and chapped hands.

At the blue velvet wedding gown display, a homely face floated out of a high collared lace neckline. This girl had beautiful skin, lovely lips, and brown, wavy, luxuriant hair. I saw her father, a judge, and her mother, a perfectionist. The dress signified freedom from the confines of a rigid household.

My museum companion barely talked. "Swords, swords, swords," he muttered.

I saw blood drip off a curved relic. I noticed a broken and healed wrist attached to sword with a tiger head top. I smelled sweaty men, tobacco and horses. My ears hurt from the noise of battle.

Grandfather clocks with no sound bombarded me. This house, that room. Narrow people and rotund.

The '50's kitchen replica felt like home. I leaned over its barrier and my spirit sank into a chair. My pretend mother gave me cake. The open door of the ice box released smells that no longer exist.

I loved it. I suggest you visit your local museum. Check out the ghosts and spirits. Open your senses and enter the past.