Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Samhain, again

I have spent, in the basest sense of that word, hours
of my God-given life working on a document required of teachers here in Jersey.
That I do these things speaks to a cultural insanity, and mine as well.

And here it is a year later, and I'm doing it again.

Do ghosts exist?

I've lived  long enough to know that they don't.
I've lived long enough to know that they do.

That odd, inexplicable events happen, and happen daily, is evident to anyone paying attention. The shame is that so few of us are paying attention to the natural world, we miss the rhythms and the mysteries that  envelop our modern minds every moment.

Tomorrow is All Saints Day, to celebrate the sanctified among us, as though following some moral order could save us from the coming dark, a world in which wasp larvae eat hornworms alive, from the inside out, and humans die monstrous deaths lying in ICUs with multiple tubes pierced into the body, hoping that like St. Sebastian, we will miraculously recover.

If you need a video to be convinced ghosts exist, you don't truly know what it means to know that the dead are among us.

The question of ghosts is not an idle one. We follow spirits of our own making all the time. We follow rules and rhythms of our own making now, wrapping ourselves in a sad cocoon of  hubris, wiling away our hours fulfilling nothing more than deadlines upon deadlines without a hint of irony.

I'm headed out to a mudflat in an hour or so, under a wet and wild early winter sky, to rake up a few clams, alive as I am, and as alive as I am, I will be as dead as those clams will be tonight in less than a lifetime.

Until you believe in the ghost you will be, you cannot truly live.
Originally posted 3 years ago. I like rhythms.


Kate T said...

We celebrate the turning of the wheel of the year and the moment where the membrane that separates life from death feels thinest and almost permeable. My doorbell is ringing, and the candy seekers make me happy, because I know that my ghost will be here when they are the ones offering the candy.

The ghosts that live here around my home speak to some but not all. This home has magic that was here before I had the pleasure of living here, and the magic will remain after I have gone. They speak to me. And in this I also find comfort.

It's cold tonight. But that has not kept the little ones from venturing out into the darkness. I can venture into the darkness, too - it only means that we are sharing the sun with others.

Happy Samhain, Doyle. May there be fish and clams and melomel and candlelight and friends and family. There is warmth where we seek it.

lucychili said...

It is sort of Samhain here too - we import pumpkins out of season and deck the halls with web and skeletons. Kids tread the streets in costume. In spring. Dislocated from the seasonal meaning of the event it has a sweet-toothed momentum of its own. Our Christmas and Easter are also plastered over Summer and Autumn respectively. It is a kind of universal festival calendar, but our local ecology and seasons have to work hard to be recognised. Local markets make seasonal sense. Bonfires in winter in July fill your clothes with smoke and your tummy with marshmallows. I am planting seedlings. It is hot and windy and rainy in turns. I cannot tell if that is Spring or if it is a climate change jumble of weather. So perhaps jumbled holidays are apt =).
This weekend we had the great Australian Bird Count where you spend 20 minutes a day in your backyard counting birds and then post it to a website. Satisfying. The last day Sunday was too windy for birds but the other days had a good mix.

doyle said...

Dear Kate,

Thank you for the words--there is indeed warmth where we week it. I just punched down the cap of a cheery mel started yesterday--the warmth from the teeming yeast surprised me. The house is cold today, but you (and the yeast) warmed me up.

Dear lucichili,

I cannot imagine celebrating holidays based on the fading light in the bright light of spring and summer. Keep sensing stories of seedlings and sun, we're headed into the deep dark now.

Sorry to both for my delayed response--I got caught up in the nonsense end of living.