Well, here we are—my favorite holiday!
And what does this holiday mean to me? Is it about candy or Jack-o’-lanterns or horror films or atmosphere? The hollow winds that blow through the trees?
Well, yeaaahhh, kinda!
I love that on this day (and the month thereof, actually) people think a little more about their mortality, their origins. About…what may lie beyond the incredibly and insanely thin veil that separates us from…the unseen. The unknown. The paranormal and supernatural. I love it that one night of the year people of all cloths go door-to-door—at night!—announcing themselves, getting to know and meet their neighbors, all for a little fun and confection. I love it when people talk about the costumes they’re gonna wear. The candy they’re gonna serve, the parties they’re gonna attend or throw.
Set out carved and lit pumpkins.
And I especially love walking through cemeteries in the month of October.
It’s not some weird death fetish, instead it’s about a cool LIFE appreciation!
Of course, I’m not into all the real death and decay in the grounds beneath our feet (>ick<), but I am into where those souls came from and to where they’ve departed. What is after death…before it? Surrounding it? What structure supports the lives we live. I think Hallowe’en—at least for me—highlights the paranormal in our lives, and in our physical world…it deals with life and death, where people are born and die. And that fascinates us all, because, sooner or later, we’ll all understand, in no uncertain terms, the well-worn phrase, “As you are now so once was I.” Maybe…maybe…it’s even that portion of us that is beyond our earthly veil, while we’re over here, and that is ever whispering to us that death is not the end….
I also love the atmosphere of Hallowe’en!
The playfulness, the “trick or treating”! Ghosts! I don’t usually dress up, but I love that others do! Take themselves a little less seriously on this one day of the year (I do this every day, so it’s interesting to see others try it)! Take their kids out to continue the tradition. I love to see what kids choose to dress up as, as they go house to house, begging for candy! The origins of trick-or-treating date back to the Celtic festival of Samhain, but it’s popularity didn’t soar in the US until after WWII, when sugar rationing was lifted. Many parents at the time opposed it, because they felt it encouraged begging and extortion! Oh, the horror!
And…I love horror movies!
Not the gory stuff that is the norm these days, but the more subtle and psychological ones. The older films that left much to the imagination. Now, of course, given the genre in general, you will and must have some gore (and boobs and blood, as fellow blogger Wendy writes about in her timely post!). A dead body or three. Again, it’s just what’s available in our physical existence to “play” off of, but there are avenues, like the Twilight Zone, that attack[ed] the subject beautifully, with more subtlety and class, like fellow blogger Paul writes about, and shows no gore. I grew up on both Hammer Films and Twilight Zone, not to mention everything in between. Some of my favorite movies have a little gore, and some don’t. Perhaps it has to do with a fascination with our physical forms…or the “fleeting physicality” of corporeal life, itself…but that fascination (as funneled through our physical brains which gives an “anchor” for our mind…) takes on the form it does, seems to like to show gore-laden bodies up on silver screens. And people (mainly the young) flock to that. It’s a fascination. In any event, it’s just a hard thing to get away from gore in the genre…but what most all have, is atmosphere.
And I love atmosphere.
So, Hallowe’en means many things to me, but it means fun, introspection, and atmosphere, and—along with Christmas—ranks as my favorite holiday. So, I hope you all enjoy the day and night, and have fun with it!
I also love lit Jack-o’-lanterns set out all over the place! This demure little fella happens to be ours.
Happy Hallowe’en, everyone!