The Ghost Of A Boy

The Book Thief Ghost of a Boy

“There once was a ghost of a boy who liked to live in the shadows, so he wouldn’t frighten people. His job was to wait for his sister, who was still alive. She wasn’t afraid of the dark, because she knew that’s where her brother was. At night, when darkness came to her room, she would tell her brother about the day. She would remind him how the sun felt on his skin, and what the air felt like to breathe, or how snow felt on his tongue. And that reminded her that she was still alive.” ~ The Book Thief

The world is breaking my spirit. The terrible stories I hear in the news every day are getting to me more and more. Stories of us, humans, hurting each other in horrifying and simple ways. We are not guiding our children. In the news recently four primary school boys gang raped a 12 year old girl. Primary schoolchildren! A man was arrested for molesting a 4 year old. I can’t imagine the irreparable damage done to these children. And this is just scratching the surface. Dozens of crimes go unreported. Our so called leaders are corrupt. Courtesy and considerstion don’t exist on our roads. People are filled with hate.

International news reads the same way. So many people live day to day and our cultures teach us to care only about ourselves not our neighbours. I can’t fathom the trauma faced by the girls kidnapped by boko harem. Most of them have had children who were starved alongside their teenaged mothers. I don’t get it. I don’t understand. Why are we so horrible to one another? Why do people decide to have children if they can’t make a commitment to raise them with kindness, consideration and love. Why have children if they can’t spend time with them, to teach them, to help them grow into adults who care?

What terrifies me more than anything is the growing awareness that these heinous acts have been prevalent in our societies throughout history, and we only now have ready-access knowledge of them through the internet and social media. Why do humans have such as much capacity for hate as we do for love? Why do some choose hate instead of love?

I am trying to find the light, to see the sunshine without feeling so desperate. To remind myself that there are things to be grateful for and joyful about. But more and more, I find that I am increasingly sensitive to how much we are hurting each other, our planet and ourselves. We have little regard for building sustainable futures or taking care of the Earth. We disrespect nature as much as we disrespect each other.

I want a way out, an escape, to block it all out all the negative. But if I do that, wouldn’t I just be doing what everyone else does? The fictional rape and burning of GoT’s Sansa and Shereen seems to have made more of an impact than the real life victims we hear about all over the world or even at home, in our own countries. I don’t understand. It’s all so heartbreaking.

In my own little way I try. I volunteer for food and clothing drives. I minimize waste and recycle as much as I can. I become involved in purposeful projects which encourage, support and celebrate young people. I know I have a lot to be thankful for, and I am. There is so much I love about life. But, for the last few weeks the ugliness in this world is made larger and more horrible against the fading backdrop of hope.

I disconnect a little more each day from social media’s reach. The news stories are all too much and I find myself drawn to certain places seeking solitude, peace and gratitude. I do find it, or rather, I used to find it, before. I would go for walks on the beach or in gardens to connect, to feel grounded amidst the chaos all around me. To feel the wind on my face, smell the salt in the sea air, and crunch grass beneath my bare feet. I would place my palms upon tree trunks. I would breathe deeply when I felt the real connection I sought and even sobbed at the fullness and the emptiness of the moment. I would return to “daily life” refreshed and revived.

But not anymore. I can’t find that peace and release. And I no longer know how to.


  1. Hug.
    I have stopped reading a lot of news. My heart breaks for those impacted. But it prevents me from functioning in my own life.
    I have children who need me. Friends I can visit. Service and volunteer work I can do.
    I truly believe that we each make an impact in the world with our actions, no matter how small.
    It brings me peace to believe that.
    I know I am fortunate to live in a world of privilege and security. Of affluence and leisure. I am grateful for my blessings.

    Hug. Try to find some light closer to home. See that there is good in the world. Believe things can change.


  2. wow….i hear you, i do
    I have disconnected from Fb, I haven’t watched news in years, I do listen to NPR , but I don’t read papers. If something happens and I want to read about it I know I can google an article. The constant onslaught is too much, and I just try and keep my focus on what “I” can do, how can I be of service to the world, which really means , I guess, what can I do for each person that crosses my path. Because that is the world in that moment. It’s hard to live with the injustice, and there isn’t much we can do in the huge picture..but gently, every moment, we can try and change our behavior and our thoughts and actions so that we are shining out good ness the best we can.
    I fiind that helpful…just being the best person i can be in any given moment. And I hope that my kindness to someone will make them kinder and so on and on….
    and, for me, the peace and release is found in yoga and meditation. I am so grateful for that

    1. I have been hearing (and sadly ignoring) the call of my yoga mat for some time now. Thank you for the reminder Mished.

  3. I hear you. I have had dark times, shadow times in my life too. And yes, I have totally stopped reading the news; it brings me unnatural worries about places at the other side.
    I have no words of solace. I feel that the world in all its aspects is on a seesaw: on the one hand there is much going wrong, on the other hand there is so information about what is going wrong that so many more people are aware of it and say ‘I want change’. I find it difficult. I am on a seesaw myself with either feeling estatic over some eco project going on or learning to really connect to people and on the other hand the Monsanto’s and the ISIS and what have you. Astrologists etc. say it is a sign of the times, this seesaw effect so I am not surprised we all get into this mode. But yes, not to forget: you are not responsible for suffering of girls and boys on the other side of the world. As I see it, my only responsibility lies with me and being responsible in that. For me it means eating ecological (as long as I can afford it) and developing myself so I become a person that not takes, hates and destructs but gives, loves and heals. Hope in due time I can be such a person.
    Hugs and love,
    xx, Feeling

    1. There is so much in what you said that I endeavour to do: trust in life’s ups and downs and my own purpose; taking care of my side of the street and helping out where and when I can; becoming healthy in my mind, body and soul. You are doing well too, I think you are already that person. Hugs.

  4. We tell our children ‘look forthehelpers’ but too often I forget to do so myself. Just found the website re that quote (sorrycant link as am on phone)and which reminds me that often hideous tragic events in the external world call up echoes of pain in our own pasts … Sending love and wishes for healing of your tender heart. Prim xx

  5. Hey Phoenix I don’t read or watch the news much either (or any tv for that matter). It drives the psychology of fear and hatred imho. So much feels like the serenity prayer now and that is how I respond – change the things I can. Don’t underestimate your own positive impact πŸ™‚ xx

    1. That’s very true Lucy. I’ve been finding new tools to deal with the negativity around me and learning how not to let it drag me down the rabbit hole. Thank you for your encouragement and advice. Hugs. πŸ™‚

  6. Hi Phoenix,
    it’s been a while. How are you? I hope to find you well. I’ve been in my own roller coaster since our last contact. Life is eh, well, challenging currently.
    Wanna let us know how you are?
    xx, Feeling

    1. Hi Feeling. You are such a sweetheart for checking in on me. I am doing much better. Still alive and kicking and finally moving out of that headspace. Been doing a lot of research and talking to mentors. I will be back very soon.
      I am sure you are meeting those challenges with changes also. Hugs and love, Phoenix.

      1. Glad to hear you are doing better :-). I’m guessing by now for me it is time to speak with a mentor to help me on my way because I feel I’m stuck. Eventhough I just got invited to a job interview which is good and unexpected! πŸ™‚
        xx, Feeling

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