“The Haunting and the Haunted”

Headin’ in or headin’ out
Standing on the shore
Pause a moment to reflect
Which trip costs you more
Between the ever restless crowds
And the silence of your room
Spend an hour in no man’s land
You’ll be leaving soon

Victims come and victims go
There’s always lots to spare
One victim lives the tragedy
One victim stops to stare
And still another walks on by
Pretending not to see
They’re all out there in no man’s land
Cause it’s the safest place to be

But sanctuary never comes
Without some kind of risk
Illusions without freedom
Never quite add up to bliss

The haunting and the haunted
Play a game no one can win
The spirits come at midnight
And by dawn they’re gone again…

– “No Man’s Land”, Bob Seger


I remember her tear-streaked face looking at me. “Why? Why did all this have to happen? Why?”

I had no answer.

She left years ago, in search of answers. I hear she found them.

The years rolled by, doing the kind of damage only time can do. I stand here now, looking out at the restless movement of the Gulf, wondering, what could I have said? What do you say in the face of a grief that demands answers?

The problem was – and is – that I don’t really traffic in answers. I have found my own, of course, but I’m not their best exemplar — judging by the uniformity with which my own adult children have rejected them. My one, halting attempt to share what I’ve learned, summarily dismissed.

So I’ve moved on from my parenting stage, and I’m back where I was with her, all those years ago, both emotionally and geographically.

I don’t know why. I don’t know why all this had to happen.

Nor do I know why we ever thought it wouldn’t.


…And so it seems our destiny
To search and never rest
To ride that ever changing wave
That never seems to crest
To shiver in the darkest night
Afraid to make a stand
And then go back and do our time
Out there in no man’s land

Author: Sibelius Russell

Sibelius Russell (a/k/a/ Owen "Beleaguered" Servant) lives a life of whimsical servitude -- whatever that means.

6 thoughts on ““The Haunting and the Haunted””

  1. Well you are not alone-here an excerpt from my journal tonight-“I must carry on, I need to become the best person I can be only it will never be fulfilling without ___. Acknowledge and move on-grow around the bump in the road, ford the stream, don’t look back-only …” there just are no answers. Seems to me someone just recently wrote an essay on our need to find cause and effect for everything even in the face of there obviously being none. What is, is.
    Only…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Answers usually come loaded with even more questions, so either way you can’t win and the game is rigged right from the beginning. I’ve given up on trying to understand some emotional relationships where things have gone pear shaped because it still won’t change their outcome or why people have done the things they have done. People can act on instinct instead of logic or reason, which is most frustrating if you have done nothing wrong and they continue to double down because they don’t want to see reason or admit they could also be at fault. Acceptance doesn’t have to mean accepting guilt either, especially if you are guilty of doing nothing in creating the situation. Life will always find something else to fill the void left by others and find ways to occupy your time soon enough. Your post has even got me searching now for meanings to profound truths that I think will never be found. At the very least you are keeping me busy and off the streets.

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