Ghost Driver Allegory

This allegory is an attempt to open up a subject for your consideration. Often matters of our heart and inner life are hard to describe. I like to create language, pictures and allegory that open up our understanding of internal processes and empower us to take some leadership in our own lives.

I trust that this allegorical effort does that for you.

This is Part One of a story to illustrate what can happen in people’s lives, when they come under the power of unseen forces that function as a driver in their life.

The Beautiful Girl

The young man noticed her at once. She was beautiful to his eyes, so he watched her from a distance. The coach stood still in the market and the lovely young lady hung out the window drinking in the sounds and senses of the bustling crowd.

As she stepped out onto the pavement the young man hurried to greet her. She smiled and he stammered to make meaningful conversation. Both were delighted by the meeting. She was just passing through and he hardly caught her name before the coach driver called his “Cumalongnow” cry and she stepped onto the running board.

As the coach began to move she swung herself into the coach and waved to him from the window. As he waved back he saw there was no driver steering the horses, yet the whip cracked and the carriage sped away. The boy ran after them, crying for the carriage to stop, but it passed out of sight, with the young lady waving still.

Second Meeting

Two full years passed before he saw her again. It was early morning and the village streets had hardly sprung to life. The coach was there again. He walked quickly to it and peered through the window. She was there, resting. He tapped and caught her attention. She quickly sprang out to meet him, smiling broadly. It was the same chemistry they had enjoyed on their first meeting.

They had barely gotten past a few pleasantries when the “Cumalongnow” made her step back into the carriage. The young man only had eyes for her sparkling smile, but something tugged at his attention. As the coach moved away he recalled the missing driver from their first meeting and glancing to the front of the coach he again saw that there was no-one holding the reins. He ran after the coach and shouted, “There’s no driver!” She simply smiled and waved back as the coach gained speed and moved away.

From then on he always kept an eye to the road, in case she should pass that way again. It was a full two years again before they met once more. He was riding a country track when he came upon the coach. The young lady was sitting in the pasture as the horses took their rest.


His fascination for her was now cautioned by his questions. They stood silently for a time before he spoke.

“There is no driver”, he said simply. She nodded.

“How can that be?” She shrugged.

“So, what do you do?” He was totally lost for understanding.

She kept her eyes on the grass as she answered. “When he cries, I get aboard.” And that was all she said.

“But where is he taking you?”

She held her reply for an intolerable time, then said, “They take me where they will.”

“There is more than one?” He was incredulous. “Who are they?”

She turned away. When she looked back toward him she could see he was resolute upon an answer.

Naming the Drivers

“One is called Ambition. Another is Rage.” He kept his gaze fixed upon her.

“Then there is Jealousy. Greed takes his turn. There are others.”

He stood stock still, unsatisfied.

“They take the reins and drive me where they will and I must stay on board. One time I am driven by rage, then by ambition, other times by self-justification. At any moment one of them can jump to the lead and dash me off in a hasty venture.”

“Where do they come from?”

“My mother and father had them before me. As a child I was carried about in this coach until it became normal for me to live under such unexpected and inexplicable whim. The ghosts have owned me since childhood. I am their pawn.”

“Then come away with me. I will ride you far from this coach and these demented masters.”

“But it will not work. They have power over me. If you try to take me away I will be torn apart, since each of them owns a handful of my being.”

A Proposal

She reached out her hand to him. “But you can come with me in the coach. We can be happy together, no matter where these riders take us.”

It was a delightful prospect, but the young man was held in check by his fear of the unseen drivers.

“I do not want to spend my life in uncertainty of the whim of Ghost Drivers. While I am delighted to be with you, I do not want to become a slave to your ghosts.”

“But my parents made a life in such a coach as this.” Her eyes appealed to him.

“No”, he said finally. “I will not be slave to another man’s masters.”

With that a multiple of voices cried, “Cumalongnow!” and she dashed into the carriage as it began to move away. Rage was almost visible as he cracked the whip. Defiance shook his fist at the man left standing. Pride lifted his head and looked away. Spite spat in his direction.

A lovely face looked back toward him, without expression, except the resignation of a slave.

Do You Recognise This?

Do you know people whose lives are upset at times by uncontrolled urges, impulses, reactions, obsessions, distractions, ventures, exploits, rages, campaigns, and the like?

Most of us have come under the power of some “Ghost Driver” or other. We are vulnerable to distraction or disruption when something triggers some internal switch and sets us off on an almost uncontrollable direction.

I have seen people spoil a social event because of their obsessive need to justify themselves, gain respect, clear up a misunderstanding, prove their worth, and so on. Romantic moments in marriages have been turned into arguments. Business ventures have come unglued. Friendships, committees, fellowships and events have all been impacted at times by someone or other whose “Ghost Driver” called “Cumalongnow” and pulled them off on some unfortunate process.

What is Going on?

I guess you’d like to know what this Ghost Driver process is all about. So that’s what we’ll look at as the story continues. The story of this young man and woman does go a little further, so keep an eye out for the next instalment of the Ghost Driver Story.

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