September 29, 2009


Over the weekend I was watching a program on the Travel Channel named "Ghost Adventures".  It's an incredibly goofy show that's fun to watch, and I'll come back to it in some future post, but as often happens, it pushed my thoughts into an area that is somewhat related ... in a fashion.

Death, superstitions, afterlife, beliefs and fear all tend to jumble together in a section of my mind.  I never can seem to sort these items out one by one and come to a definite conclusion about each of them.  If I could, I suppose I could understand why totally unreasonable things scare me.

Being scared, or more accurately spooked, is something I can't get a handle on.  Why am I afraid of the dark sometimes, but not others?  Why do I avoid certain situations or refuse to do certain things, when I'll do exactly the opposite when practically the same situations or things are presented to me in different circumstances?

I'll give a few examples.  My father died in his bedroom in his own bed.  When we visited my mother this past summer, I refused her offer to use that bedroom.  In fact, I felt a sense of unease when I used the shower in the adjoining bathroom and refused to put my dressing clothes on the bed.  In fact, I wouldn't even touch it. And yet, I had no problem sitting in a chair that he used as his favorite for years.

I used to do feed mill inspections at plants that my company owned.  At one plant, in Bartonville, Illinois, a young man had fallen into a high speed mixer and was torn to pieces.  They found him after the circuit breakers had blown in equipment on down the line and shut everything down.  I visited the plant several months later and asked where the death had happened.  During  my inspection, when I came to that area, instead of taking 10 to 15 minutes to jot down notes on sanitation, I literally ran through it with the hair on the back of neck standing up and fabricated my notes later on.  But on a visit to another mill in New York, where an employee had committed suicide in an isolated work area, I took my time with the inspection and although I knew it had happened, thought little about it.

I suppose that each individual has their own set of levers, switches and buttons that have to be thrown, pulled and pushed in just the right order to induce fear.

Maybe, if I live long enough, I'll figure out my particular sequence.  But until then, I guess I'll just continue to be afraid of the dark.

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