They tell me that the past and the future are mere illusions—this is what I am told by the great teachers of wisdom and spirit. I am told that the only thing that we really have is the present moment. The here and now. Yet, the ghosts continue to visit me at the most inopportune times. They are the swirling winds of my past, the floating ghosts of this life that I know.
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We have met many times, he and I. In a tiny park, to adjacent to Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute, stands a statue of a bearded man. He is frozen in a terrified state, looking upwards to heaven. His arms are missing. His features are slowing being worn away by time, rain, and the gunk spewed out by industry and cruise ships. Every time I return to Venice I visit him—and wonder about him.
A return to Venice is like no other sensation. Like any good theatrical event, it's best to plan one's return with some flair. Venice is a city of the sea, given its birth by the briny lagoon. Therefore one should always, always approach her by boat. Any other way is simply not right.
Old storefronts have always saddened me. I grew up in New Jersey at a time when its cities were in terrible decline. Being in Paterson or Newark in the '70s would sadden my soul. Empty windows, cracked glass, once-proud signs now askew and burnt out, everything faded except for the hastily posted proclamations: going out of business, everything must go, for rent, for sale, down on our luck, going home, depressed, need a vacation, moving to Florida.
I woke up this morning thinking of Venice. It might be that I need to stop working on images late at night. I'm preparing a new online gallery called, *Venetian Ghosts*, not something one should fill one's mind with at bedtime.