Monday, 16 May 2011

Chris Port Blog #255. What Is There To Be Afraid Of? (The Wind Calls My Name…)

The Wind Calls My Name
© Chris Port, May 2011

Tonight it seems to me
that the wind calls my name.
Slyly. Rattlesnake trees
make small stones bump the panes.
Damp leaves hiss with ghostly
disgust. I am ashamed.
Let eaves be uneasy.
Why must I be afraid?

"Flabis, furbis, flebis" 
('You will blow, you will go mad, you will weep')
"Quis est iste qui venit" 
('Who is this who is coming?')
Something with a face of crumpled linen...
"Oh no. Oh no..."

(The end. Watch from 2:37 to… the end…)
He is a rational man. So what is he frightened of? And why does he keep saying “Oh no. Oh no.”? What is he trying to deny?

His wife is in a care home. Speechless, motionless, in the advanced stages of senile dementia. All she can move is one finger. Sometimes she scratches at the blanket draped over her knees. One night, miles away, he hears something scratching, trying to get in. Bad dreams. His wife, screaming, “I’m still here! I’m still here!”

 ‘… The phenomenon in question comprises a feeling, or an impression – sometimes amounting to a veritable delusion - that the person concerned is “not alone”…’

 ‘… Ultimately, the author feels most comfortable describing the "third man factor" as a "coping mechanism". "It is a way for people who are under great physical and psychological duress to cope with their situation. There is nothing more helpful to people undergoing hardship than a sense that there is another person there, helping them."

*           *           *           *           *           *           *

"Reality - if there is such a thing - is the laws of physics. The laws of physics have nothing to say about life and death. The atoms of a living man and the atoms of a dead man are exactly the same. Did the dust think it had a name? Did the dust think the wind cared? The wind blows and the wind blows...

If you want to know the secret of life, ask Snowden. Ask Mistah Kurtz. Man is matter. The rest is just... two words…

Human affairs - relationships, politics, property - properly belong in the realm of fiction. To regard them as ‘real’ is to fly in the face of all scientific evidence. No wonder ‘God’ doesn’t physically exist. That wouldn’t make any sense at all…” ~ Marty Gull

See #274. Measuring the Dark...


  1. Can anyone point me in the direction of any specialist research exploring 'the idea of a presence' as a neurophysiological explanation for some people's 'belief' in a deity?

    Please see 'Mystery of the Third Man'

    Also: 'The Idea of a Presence' by MacDonald Critchley

    The key point is this: empirical investigation of the 'Third Man' phenomenon may provide a neurophysiological explanation for sincere reports of supernatural experiences. What's more, it seems to have an evolutionary rationale, giving a whole new spin to Voltaire's "If God did not exist..."

    To Geiger, the suggestion of a neurological basis to the "third man" raises the notion that the capacity to conjure up a third man might have been a useful evolutionary adaptation. "You can imagine if primitive man had this ability to call upon help it would improve a person's odds of survival over others who don't have it."

  2. “No live organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream. Hill House, not sane, stood by itself against its hills, holding darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more. Within, walls continued upright, bricks met neatly, floors were firm, and doors were sensibly shut; silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of Hill House, and whatever walked there, walked alone.” ~ Shirley Jackson, ‘The Haunting of Hill House’

    ‘The Haunting’ (1963, not the crap 1999 travesty). If ‘The Woman In Black’ spooked you, ‘The Haunting’ will mess with your mind. You never see a thing. But it wants me. IT WANTS ME! (Great psychological subtext, and a sexy sly lesbian Claire Bloom).

    Robert Wise directed 'The Haunting' in between 'West Side Story' and 'The Sound of Music!' 'West Side' has great music and lyrics and choreography (if wooden acting). 'Sound Of...' has nuns and nazis and a naval captain widowed in a landlocked country. For some strange reason, people seem to find this terrifying film 'sweet'. Mind you, that old school favourite 'Grease' is all about a virgin putting out and becoming a hotpant slutbag. I think, all told, you're probably psychologically safer with 'The Haunting'. The whole film is on You Tube in 13 (ha ha!) instalments...


  3. 'Nothing in the Dark'
    The Twilight Zone, January 5 1962

    "Mother, give me your hand. You see. No shock. No engulfment. No tearing asunder. What you feared would come like an explosion is like a whisper. What you thought was the end is the beginning."