No doubt you’ve gathered that I love all things Hallowe’en. The cheesy cinematic frightfests, the symphonic renditions of the Dies Irae, the kids’ costumes, the scary cocktails and appetizers, the whole silly business.
Yet on the actual night of the 31st, you won’t catch me out partying. For me it’s a high holiday — a spiritual tide I want to hitch a ride on — and thus a time for meditation.
Though the usual concept of the holiday’s antecedents is that it was about frightening about away unwanted spirits, there’s more to it than that. The basic idea, for the ancient Celts, was that at this time of year, the membrane between the seen and the unseen was thinnest. Sure, you might want to take precautions about unwelcome spooks, but what about those you would want? Your ancestors, in other words, or the recently departed.
I have a few of both I’d like to hear from again. So later tonight, when the street noise has died down and the kids are back at home sorting through their plunder, I’ll be listening closely for a word from some people I very much miss.
Toward that end, here’s a little music, courtesy of Harold Budd and Brian Eno (from their album The Pearl) for all you October people.