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All Hallows Eve

As we come to another Samhain (pronounced Sowen {more or less}) also known as All Hallows Eve (the evening before All Hallows or All Saints day), more commonly: Halloween, my mind is drawn to the Silver Branch: the gateway to the nether world which legend tells us is open on this night to let the spirits wander into our world and where we can wander knowingly or not into theirs, and become lost… forever.
Currently, I am working on a painting of a lonely winter night, lit by streetlamps, as the snow and elements attempt to obscure what little illumination they offer. As I paint, I’m listening to Wicca radio on itunes. I have always loved Halloween, but not everyone shares this fondness for a night of ghoulish corpses, haunted graveyards and magic spells. I have dragged people into the depths of parties, haunts and demonic debauchery over the years hoping they would catch the spell cast upon me in my youth. All too often however, the night turns into a curse for all involved. You cant force someone to enjoy Halloween.
As a child, I would have Halloween parties thrown for me for my birthday which is about a week before Halloween. Then of course, on the big night came the trick or treating! Going door to door and having strangers give me candy was thrilling! In retrospect, it was more the idea that these strangers were friendly enough to give me something rather than the candy itself which would often last until Thanksgiving when it would get thrown out. Dressing up was definitely a big part of the magic and the only remnant left to me as an adult. I remember having one of those really shiny costumes with the plastic mask secured by a rubber band as a child; I think it was Superman. I had to go while it was still light out because I was so young, which I hated, but I think I went by myself, which I loved.
One year my next door neighbor put a stuff scare crow in a chair on her porch and whether she jumped out at me or what I don’t remember, but I do remember that she scarred the crap out of me.
Then there was the time I went trick or treating and somehow came to the door of the first girl I had a crush on. Her name was Melinda Waller. We moved to a neighboring school district soon after that and I tried in vein to remember where that house was, hoping to screw up the courage to knock on the door and ask her out. I thought it might be across the street from a certain park, so I spent a lot of time at that park, drawing and wondering which house might be hers. (I guess I was the worlds worst stalker!) I was in the 6th grade.
Once, in my youth, I took some friends trick or treating. The people at the houses were less than friendly as they told us we were too old to be doing this. (I was a fifteen year old gangster {a la The Godfather}, my friends, both on the JV football team, had no costumes). The previous year or too before that, I was dressed as Radar from M*A*S*H, and met a girl. we liked each other but my friends didn’t approve so I didn’t pursue that relationship (what an idiot I was!)
When I became old enough to go to bars I would go dressed up on Halloween, and I was home! Here were a bunch of other grown ups that were dressed up, drinking and having a good time.
In college, I made the mistake of dressing up like a girl. I had long hair in those days (the 80s!) and had decided I liked the idea of wearing a costume that didn’t look like a costume. When people actually mistook me for a girl, I could say in a low voice that it was Halloween and I wasn’t really a girl. It had worked in the past. This time; however, the girl I was with thought that dressing up like a girl meant I was gay, and wanted to go hang out in West Hollywood. Man, that was a miscommunication!
Then there are too many drunken catastrophes to go into, both on other people’s part & my own. Well there was the time I dressed up as Jesus; I went around blessing people and using bible quotes humorously. With my long hair and goatee it was great until we found we had locked the keys in the car and had to wait until dawn for a locksmith to show up. There is a lesson in there, I guess.

Once I got sober, I found there were always sober Halloween parties to go to and these were great, because sober alcoholics at Halloween parties really love Halloween, but I would often drive far, late at night to somewhere cold and would just sit outside, smoke and not talk to anybody. I guess I have some unexorcised Halloween demons left! haha!
Now I can make Halloween cards and sell them on Etsy
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