graveyards and ghost towns

by rantywoman

This week I’m reading a book called Exit: The Endings That Set Us Free by Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot.  The book discusses “our societal neglect of the rituals and purposes of exits” (p. 8).  I relate to the author in her introduction:

I am sure that one of the reasons that the topic fascinates me is because I have known such moments, and they stand as signposts of courage and treachery in my life, those moments when I said to myself– after months of deliberation, indecision, and ambivalence— “I’m out of here.” (p. 5)

One of the interviewees in the book discusses author William Bridges’s conception of a “cemetery” versus a “ghost town” (p. 68).  A cemetery is for the dead and buried; we go there to pay homage and lay flowers on graves.  A ghost town is a place that used to be vibrant but has become inexplicably vacant.

I found this concept fascinating and can relate it to many stages of my life.  Years ago, shifts in a social dance scene caused it to become a ghost town for me; it is now a graveyard.  The same could be said of my former city of residence.  Additionally, I feel that my pursuit of motherhood has moved from ghost town to cemetery, and although I don’t want to admit it, perhaps my pursuit of marriage as well.

My best friend and travel partner is moving away from our current city in a month, and given my growing feeling of disconnection from some of the scenes I have been involved with here, this place, too, may become a ghost town.