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Reflection on Linda Hogan’s “The Feathers”

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While reading Linda Hogan’s “The Feathers,” I tried to think back to any instances in my life that were left open and impossible to explain. I usually just put them off as coincidences or as trivial daily happenings. However, I am beginning to think that I should be more open to recognizing and experiencing them and should look more deeply into these events.

When you asked the question about ghost stories in class it was a bit shocking to see the number of hands that were raised. In my family, I have always been taught that believing in ghosts is irrational and ridiculous. Still, when I was living in a hundred-year-old house in southeast Portland last year, I was often sure that I wasn’t alone in the house despite all of my housemates being away. I heard distinctive footsteps upstairs and the sound of dragging a heavy load in the crawlspace above my bed.

My housemates heard these things when they were alone in the house as well. One of them even claimed that he heard the laughter of children coming from my room when I was out of town for winter break. We also noticed that appliances would consistently be plugged in when we were sure we unplugged them and the sounds of the inactive coffeemaker, oven, and microwave could sometimes be heard from the kitchen. Once, my friends hair-straightening iron, which she swore she unplugged right after using it, caught fire to a stray piece of tissue paper. If my housemate hadn’t returned home in time, the fire would have spread to the curtains.

While I was living in the house I convinced myself that I was simply hearing the sounds of a creaky old house and that my housemates and I were just particularly absentminded and leaving appliances on. This now seems like a bit of an oversight.

Another unexplainable and common occurrence in my life is that I routinely wake up at exactly the time I need to in the morning with no alarm clock. It’s like I have an internal clock that only works when I am asleep. I am completely lost about the time when I am awake.

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