Purim Ghost Wings

For the 2024 The Sway Machinery Purim concert at Shape Shifter, I sculpted a pair of Ghost Wings which were worn by five members of the audience who volunteered for the night to inhabit the roles of the five ghosts of Purim…it was a somewhat sombre party this time perhaps inevitably under the circumstances of the year we are going through and the play I wrote was of course very strange and perhaps not completely successful, none the less I would like to share with you the words of the five ghosts who visited me, see below.

Purim Spectacle – Five Ghosts


I am the ghost of your dead lover.

I stand at the door, but I am afraid to enter into the next world. Up above me the angels are dancing. Michael stands at the left. Raphael stands at the right, Azriel behind, and the Holy One, whose name I cannot say, stands in front. All are in ceaseless motion. They are grinding and swaying. I want badly, so badly, to leave this world behind. But I have one nagging fear that restrains me. I have one thorn in my side that keeps me from being able to move. It is because in that celestial sphere, that is so near to me, not everyone may enter. I do not know if I will see you in that place, among those angels. So, I’ll stay here a little longer between worlds.

The memory of my body is so foreign to me now. But the melody of our world still rings clear and true in my ears. When your body becomes a stranger, the melody feels like home. I remember you and I await you…I await you still.


I am the ghost of your faith in your own righteousness.

Once upon a time you knew, as sure as the breath in your lungs, that your struggle was a fight for liberation and your strength was holy. When you spoke, it was with the voice of a flock of sheep beset upon by the wolf. Your rage was the voice of prophecy railing against the God who permits suffering, who will not forbid.

Once upon a time you knew, as sure as the breath rattles your bones, that your struggle was the battle cry of a king who has fallen. When you spoke, it was in the name of the lost. You were a gatherer of refugees and vagabonds, cleaving to a sacred spark that resides in the broken hearted.

Once upon a time you knew you spoke truth to power. You were fighting for the downcast to dance.

Now I ask you, where is the faith in your righteousness, now that you are strong enough to carry a gun, and the downcast curse your name?

Here I am, trembling, unsure of my own face in the mirror. I am filled with longing for the days of our youth, when our strength was just a dream, tremulously desired but without a discernable shape, and far off in the future. I am the ghost of your faith in your own righteousness. I am trembling amidst the gravestones.


I am the ghost of your enemy.

I held you in a chokehold of servitude and terror. I slandered you to your own mother. I made you small and would not let you grow. I held a needle to your skin and laughed as you trembled in fear and rage. I held consort with kings and emperors to decide your fate. I gleefully condemned the stench of your sweat, the sound of your voice, the shape of your skull. I decided with scientific certainty that you did not deserve to live.

I don’t need to remind you of all the dirt I did you. You’ve turned recounting my sins into a part of your pathetic little rituals [laughs maniacally].

But this I will say: I have been told in good certainty—in fact it was a little bird that told me—that when you are alone, you sometimes speak of me with fondness. I have heard tell that you remember with a certain tenderness the days when I perpetrated atrocities upon you.

I am the ghost of your enemy. I have been told, and I believe it is a fact, that in your heart of hearts you know that without my hands upon you, you would never have risen out of the ashes into the shape of an angel.


I am the ghost of someone who was exceptionally brave.

Are you like me? I sat all day in my room, literally trembling, I was so afraid. I could barely speak. I did not want to be in pain. I wanted to be safe. I wanted to be in comfort. I did not want to die. I wanted to live, even if I had to lie, even if it meant selling out my friends, my family.

I lived my life painstakingly avoiding conflict. I obeyed the rules of the world. But the rules kept changing. I was surrounded by violence. I saw a man killed in front of me. I saw buildings that had stood as long as I could remember, suddenly reduced to ash.

In the final moments, I did what was demanded of me. I drove a spike through a sleeping general’s head. I smuggled guns across the border. I entered into the king’s chamber unbidden, a crime for which the penalty is death, and I begged in a keening voice of anguish for the lives of my beloved friends to be spared.

In each of these scenes from my life, I was horrified by the thought of being caught and punished. My heart pounded uncontrollably, and I almost changed my mind at the last second. Every part of my body begged to not go through with it. Every part of my mind told me to go back to hiding and accept my pitiful fate. It was only a flutter of a butterfly wing that changed my mind at the last possible moment.

I am the ghost of someone who was exceptionally brave. Up until the last second, I desperately wanted to turn back. Are you like me?


I am the ghost of a child.

What words are there for me to speak? What do I know of life?

I saw the brightly colored horses go by, round and round, and the organ played. I tasted my mother’s skin. I slept in a little bed and woke early in the morning and played with a piece of string sticking out of the carpet. I knew no sin.

I lived in a city and could count to one hundred. I walked up and down the stairs and sang a song for each step. I was afraid of a certain dog, but fond of another. I had brown hair and my fingers were stained with ink.

I was not ashamed to dance. My mother told me not to be afraid and that the world was blessed to have me in it. I drank a glass of sweet juice. I got stuck in a closet and cried till they found me and let me out and kissed away my tears.

I sat in the backseat of the car and fell asleep. I wondered why there were more stars in the country than in the city. I wondered what joy the grownups took in fighting. I wondered if the world would be the same when I grew up.

I am the ghost of a child. In my heart I knew the world can never change.