The obvious: not my thing.

One of the HR girls at work was dressed as a prison warden today – Warden is her last name.

Until that moment, 30 years, four months, and 20 days into my life, it had never occurred to me that I could dress up as a baker for Hallowe’en. And I even own a big, floppy chef’s hat.

Sheesh.

Samhain.

I am not a religious person, much to my parents’ chagrin. Anything I choose to believe is based on what makes sense to me. Most of it, as it turns out, relates to New Year, or the idea thereof.

With “Western” New Year (and the lead up to it) I find myself thinking of the dead a lot more than I usually do. After Deb died, on December 22nd, I had almost no time to process it: busy schedule, houseguests, no time to myself. I had a bit of time alone on Christmas Eve (I pretty much bolted from church-with-the-parents), and I started talking to her. I wrote her a letter, then took it outside on a beautiful, clear night, and burned it (fire is also very important in what passes for religion with me). A symbolic release, of sorts, and sealing what I had to say between us. I talked to her a bit more on New Year’s Eve, some things I’d forgotten in the turmoil of trying to empty my head a week prior.

As I have mentioned before, the idea of Jewish New Year – Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur – in the fall, makes a lot of sense to me.

And thirdly, we have Hallowe’en, probably the most thinly disguised of the ancient pagan holidays. Here is a good description of Samhain. Particularly, the following passage speaks to what I find magical about this time of year:

This was the most magical time of the year; Samhain was the day which did not exist. During the night the great shield of Skathach was lowered, allowing the barriers between the worlds to fade and the forces of chaos to invade the realms of order, the material world conjoining with the world of the dead. At this time the spirits of the dead and those yet to be born walked amongst the living. The dead could return to the places where they had lived and food and entertainment were provided in their honour. In this way the tribes were at one with its past, present and future. This aspect of the festival was never totally subdued by Christianity.

I remember, too, an exchange from a Hallowe’en episode of the tv show Beauty and the Beast. (I loved that show: mock to your heart’s content.)

Bridget: The night has a special magic to it, don’t you think? This night, especially.
Vincent: Halloween.
Bridget: In the Old Religion they call it Samhain. It’s a night when the walls between the worlds grow thin, and spirits of the Underworld walk the earth. A night of masks and balefires, when anything is possible and nothing is quite as it seems.

I love the idea of the mingling of the past, present, and future. The dead, the living, and the not-yet-born. Who knows who you could meet? Who knows what you could learn? Who knows what you could see?

And so tonight our jack o’ lantern sits on the front porch, aglow with his merry rictus. A bowl of candy, which will mostly be eaten by us (our neighbourhood is a dead zone between several with many more children), waits near the front door. And in my room the candles are lit. In multiples of three, of course, for my superstitious soul, and all are welcome to visit. Trick or treat.

The Black Widow.

So this is what I ended up with. I don’t think anyone looked me in the eye all day. Heh. And veils? Strangely liberating…

Black Widow

Black Widow

The itsy, bitsy spider…

Purchases this morning:

– one fake pearl necklace
– one fake pearl bracelet
– one pair fake pearl and diamond earrings
– one metre black sheer fabric
– one package large rubber spiders.

I have engineered the veil so that it will (hopefully) stay comfortably on my head. I have painted red identifying marks onto two rubber spiders. I will be sewing the red hourglass onto my sluttiest sweater and making up an arsenic label shortly. Since I didn’t bother with gloves (hard to find at the last minute and I can’t really type with them anyway), I should probably paint my nails as well.

I love Hallowe’en. 🙂

Honky Tonk Confessions.

Another of the cds I found last night was one, if I recall correctly, I made for my parents back during the P2P glory days of Napster and suchlike. I’m glad I found it. I’ll take it with me next time I go up to my parents’ place and load it onto the new computer. Heck, I might even throw in iTunes, cuz I’m nice.

Thing is, I felt strangely compelled to listen to the cd… Anne Murray, Dolly Parton, Charley Pride, Everly Brothers, Kenny Rogers, Buddy Holly… I’m sure most of my friends would be appalled. I mean, the Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline have cred all their own, but all this other stuff doesn’t bother me. It’s nostalgic. It reminds me of growing up. It reminds me of Mom humming away in the kitchen, of Dad out in the garage with oldies cranked on the stereo (Dad’s MO for the tv or radio is to turn down his hearing aid and crank the volume on the electronics – so we can ALL listen to it!) And I fell in love with Jack White when he did a cover of Jolene at the concert the other winter.

Plus, hey, C.W. McCall is on there. I downloaded Convoy for my parents. I am awesome. 🙂

Bit rot.

I was tidying up tonight, and in one of those useless moments of industry decided to go through a pile of old cds. I came across this stuff, which I wrote… about five years ago, maybe? I remember I kept hearing them talking in my head. Eventually I broke down and stopped ignoring them and wrote it out. I remember thinking I didn’t want her to be a hooker, but reading it and figuring that was probably the only thing anyone was going to conclude she was. I remember hearing the first two sentences in my head as the beginning of a country song, something Lucinda Williams-esque. I still do. I also seem to recall thinking it was a lot better than I do now. 🙂

Dialogue.

Dialogue II.