at-some-lighthouse

Telephone Prayers ☎

It falls, not dramatically as Icarus perhaps, but like one of his feathers caught on wind currents, indecisive where to go, weighed by wax until it sinks into the ocean. Like him, however, it is not forgotten. 

It floats up from the volcanic floor of the ocean, a strange thing Hephaestus found and tried to make something out of it. A thought, a hope, a whisper? 

When it withstands the volcanic vents, Poseidon splashes on the shore, throwing it upwards, like a swimmer exploding out of the water after holding their breath to long. The message nearly dies at the rocks after mulling and stewing and rolling in the waves for weeks, tumbled smooth. 

 Hermes catches it, however, as he glides across the water like a skipping stone. On his way up some lighthouse stairs to deliver a message he sends it out with a signal to send ships another way, and beckon weary travelers to shelter. 

 Apollo catches it riding the lighthouse beam to a rainbow to the sun glinting over the clearing storm clouds. He tends to the broken, feeble little thing, patching it up with the music of sea gull cries and wind chimes of the nearby shore. 

 Zeus picks it up where Apollo left it, resting on a wisp of a clouds he overlooks the world, and spots Hera. He sends it down to her in a sun shower that graces her fingertips, and she smiles –they have their happy moments too. 

Hera passes by Artemis in the park. They stop to talk over coffee as Artemis jogs in place while Hera reminds her to eat more vegetables in her motherly way, until her son shows up. 

Artemis holds in in the palm of her hand and when she arm wrestles Aries and beats him, he takes it. Each battle is about success as much as it is defeat, and he knows to take both honorably.

It’s exchanged in a flirt from Aries to Aphrodite. First in the eyes, where the spark sends butterflies into their stomachs like always. Then in the hands, where pinkies link in passing and it’s not a spark but warmth. 

She holds onto it, rides her bike all the way home and delivers it to Hestia with a kiss on the cheek. 

It appears to Athena as she reads by the fire in a spark of inspiration, a stray flare when Hestia pokes the hearth fire again. She rushes outside with it tumbling from her lips and a new layout for the garden.

Demeter scolds Dionysus for getting in her way, but smiles fondly. He discusses vintage and blends of various fruits as she pushes them into the ground and they spring back up. 

Dionysus is tying fairy lights around her garden trellises and tomato cages, and every cherry, every grape, every fig he pops in his mouth ferments before he swallows. When the evening festivities arrive he offers Persephone a glass of wine with juice-sticky fingers. 

Persephone drinks six sips and discusses it over with Morpheus as he drops by. 6 o'clock she decides to walk home and her friend joins her. She talks at length, dominating the conversation as she does everything. 

Morpheus winds it back into a neat little package, translated into a dream where it is more detailed and vague than ever before. The dreamer dies in his sleep and Morpheus meets up with Hades as he does every night, and they talk long hours into the night until Persephone rises to visit her mother again. 

The ever dutiful Hades measures it ten times over in every dimension. The eternal account, he records it all in his neat and precise order, and files it away, because it has already been answered. These things are rarely mishandled in his care, not with so many hands holding it.

St Augustine Lighthouse - 

Originally built in 1824, the St Augustine Lighthouse in Florida has so many ghosts attached to it the owners have lost track of them all. The first known ghost is that of the original owner, Dr Alan Ballard. He wanted to sell the lighthouse to the government but after the Civil War Florida’s funds were low and the government offered him a much smaller amount than Dr Ballard was expecting. This threw him into a rage so the government threatened to just take the lighthouse from him. He vowed to never leave the lighthouse and some say that he kept his vow and his ghost has been seen around the property. 

Another ghost that is commonly witnessed around the lighthouse by staff several times a week is that of Peter Rasmussen. Peter was a lighthouse keeper who enjoyed his cigars and had a reputation for being very strict and meticulous. After he died the smell of his cigars could still be detected as though he were just wandering by smoking happily. Peter is not the only cigar smoking ghost. Another is the ghost of Joseph Andreu who was a keeper who died in the 1850′s when he fell from the lighthouse. Some say that his cigar smoke, footsteps and figure have all been witnessed on the tower stairs and that it is his ghost that was photographed sitting at the top of the lighthouse. 

The most well known ghosts of the St Augustine Lighthouse are the spirits of the 13 and 15 year old daughters of Hezekiah Pity. Pity was hired to renovate the lighthouse in the late 1800′s. One day in 1873, Eliza, 13, and Mary, 15, were playing in the grounds of the lighthouse. The two of them climbed into the cart used for carrying building materials from the bay to the lighthouse. The cart broke loose and both girls drowned when it rolled downhill into the bay. Today the two girls can be heard laughing in the tower at night. The eldest girl is spotted in person from time to time, wearing the same blue dress and hair bow she died in. 

There are many more ghosts that are said to haunt the grounds of St Augustine, including those of an entire crew of pirates. 

She would die like some bird in a frost gripping her perch. She belonged to a different age, but being so entire, so complete, would always stand up on the horizon, stone-white, eminent, like a lighthouse marking some past stage on this adventurous, long, long voyage, this interminable  — […] — this interminable life.
—  Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway