What To Do With A Ghost

Last night Shirley and I went to another free concert at Pomona College. The Pomona College Orchestra preformed four pieces ending with Antonín Dvořák’s Symphony No. 8 in G major, Op 88 (1889). The highlight of the evening was Anatolia Maya Evarkiou-Kaku’s flute solo performance of Georges Hüe’s “Fanaisie” (1923). Ms Evarkiou-Kaku’s wonderful solo made the entertaining if otherwise uneventful concert. It seems nearly compulsorily that every Pomona College concert premiere a work by Karl Kohn. Last night the orchestra preformed “Return” which Kohn wrote in 1990. Like my general view of Kohn’s work, I found that “Return” had great, amazing, wonderful moments and then it had other moments. I don’t want to be overly critical. Some of Kohn’s work I enjoy more than I do others. My opinion is strictly that, my opinion. Besides, while I don’t know them beyond their music, Professor Kohn and his wife sat to our right in the row in front of us and we will no doubt see them again next week.
But this post isn’t about music. It’s about ghosts and how to get rid of them. The first piece of the evening was Manuel de Falla’s “Ritual Fire Dance” (1915). The program told us this about “Ritual Fire Dance.”

A young Gypsy woman, Candélas, has fallen in love with Carmelo after being widowed by her unfaithful first husband. The ghost of the first husband continues to haunt the new couple, so in response, all of the Gypsy women build a bonfire and perform a ritual dance around it, summoning the ghost, with whom Candélas dances. As their movements accelerate, the ghost is drawn into the flames and destroyed. . .

The ghost is destroyed! No Mesopotamian ghost would put up with such treatment. Mesopotamian ghosts needed a decent and sometimes distant burial. The trick was to get them to adopt some object like a figurine as a physical body and then properly bury it. No self-respecting Mesopotamian ghost would allow himself to be worked up into such a frenzy that he would jump into a fire and be destroyed. But then, I guess the ghost of Candélas’ ex was not a Mesopotamian ghost.