Monday, October 31, 2016

Have we become Borgs with our Happy Halloween?

'Tis a warm Halloween, but with a cold wind blowing. Leaves and tumblegrass provide camouflage and cover for restless other world spirits seeking --- what? Closure, resolution, revenge, return, renewal, or just a visit with loved ones? And what effect, if any, do you suppose two feet of snow had on any fairies, demons and ghosts that were about 25 years ago this day?

uninhabited Jack O'Lanterns?
uninhabited Jack O'Lanterns?
Photo by J. Harrington

If we have Halloween because Catholic missionaries assimilated Celtic Samhain, and Spanish invaders absorbed and moved the Aztec "Day of the Dead," and we do so little to acknowledge and honor the cultures from which our current folk festivities originated, are we not well on our way to becoming "Borgs?" ("Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated.")

Jack O'Lanterns inhabited by?
Jack O'Lanterns inhabited by?
Photo by J. Harrington

Tomorrow is All Souls Day. That's what makes today All Hallows Eve (Halloween). If it weren't for emigrants and immigrants and "unAmerican" customs, there'd be neither tricks nor treats this evening, except for the occasional unseasonable blizzard delivered by Mother Nature and her goblins. Think about whether crystal balls and ouija boards were predecessors to todays internet and WiFi routers. Are we living so we can be comfortable with whatever comes next?

Toward the Solstice

by Mark Perlberg
We burned our leaves on the bluest October day,
the sun still warm on our backs,
frost just a ghost in the shrubbery.
We raked the leaves into shifting piles on the lawn,
scooped them into deep round baskets
and spilled them in the street against the curb.
The vein of fire, unseen at first in diamond light,
whispered through oak leaves brown as butcher paper,
and maple still flushed with color like maps
torn from The Book of Knowledge.
We were letting go of October, relinquishing color,
readying ourselves for streets lacquered with ice,
the town closed like a walnut, locked inside the cold.


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