Sunday, March 28, 2010

Dog Matter

black dog, Avoca Pk., Dublin
On the forum of a photoblog I am a member of, one of the bloggers recently posted the following query:
Sadly we lost our dog a few weeks ago. However, since we got his ashes back we have heard him a few times around the house – Physiological or Spiritual? Has anyone else experienced similar noises/ events?
Someone responded by simply stating: 'There will be a totally rational explanation.'

In all probability, yes, a rational explanation is waiting in the not-too-shadowy wings. Rational as in 'agreeable to reason', 'sensible'. But 'totally' rational? My innate scepticism doesn't incline towards a belief in a spirit world, but I am always open to being surprised (and I have been, at least thrice). And then, what is the rational explanation for our existence, beyond the big bang theory and the fact that the universe seems to be continually expanding (though, apparently, weirdly and too quickly and in odd clumps, due to dark matter/energy/flow etc.)? And what manner of infinite not-thereness did we pop out of anyway? That last question probably answers itself, without elucidating anything. The cosmological constant has been readjusted more than once. Perhaps they'll eventually find room for rationally irrational ghosts in the machine (or the dogged house).


P Nolan said...

Ghosts. A theme that seems to be synchronous just now. Did you catch Justin Quinn's reading at Poetry Now? Ghosts there too - along with a couple of poems inspired by your photos. Didn't get an opportunity to say hello over the weekend. Looking forward to Fade Street. Ciao.

Ms Baroque said...

Thanks Mark. I had a sort of ten-year phase of "being surprised" on a pretty regular basis - but it hasn't happened in about ten years. I sometimes wonder if it's me that's changed, or just I moved house or something. (Having said that, not all my surprises were in the same house!)

My daughter used to have strange experiences in that house, too, but I don't think she has for some time, although her dad still lives there.

To those who categorically say they don't believe, because these things AREN'T TRUE, I've always said I think it's a bit odd to assume that just because you don't understand something it can't be true.

Mark Granier said...

Thanks for the comments guys.

PJ, sorry to miss you at the PN fest. I thanked Justin for his generous acknowledgement, very sweet of him. Hope you enjoy Fade St. when it comes out. Do come to the launch: June 10 in the Unitarian on Stephen's Green at 6.30. Wine will definitely be served.

Katy, I always distrust any hand-dusting dismissal of the 'supernatural', though I am highly sceptical myself. Regarding those who assume something isn't true because they doesn't understand it, I imagine that many would counter that they understand ghosts all too well, as delusions, manifestations of wishful thinking. But what do they know? Perhaps ghosts are yet another quantum anomaly.

sean lysaght said...

Short of the supernatural, there are things in the natural world that I have never heard a convincing explanation for. How do migratory salmon return to the same river that bred them to spawn? How do young cuckoos get to Africa without their parents? Instinct, we are told. What does that mean? There are paranormal events that are well attested, for which we have no explanation: a diviner's ability to find water, for example.

Mark Granier said...

Haven't the salmon a highly (supernaturally) accurate sense of smell? And the diviner, yes, of course, as attested in Heaney's poem.

P Nolan said...

In the diary!