Sunday, November 2, 2008

Halloween, All Saints, All Souls

Halloween is a prickly subject in these parts. People are divided. Is it satanic? My belief system doesn't include a devil. In my religious practice, Halloween is a time to remember the dead and in that remembering, to know that our lives are finite, and we need to live to the fullest. My grandmothers died on dates that bookend Halloween. October 18 and November 5. So I am already there in thought. The veil that separates us at this time is thin. Dressing up is part of the ritual because it allows us to transform the bounds of our daily life. Our church even has a parade during Sunday morning services to show off costumes. What do you aspire to be? What are you afraid of and want to conquer? Life is finite. Question your boundaries, and have a little fun in the process.
I think that next to Thanksgiving, Halloween may be my favorite holiday. This year we had white chicken chili and cornbread. My daughter, the actress, dressed up as Marilyn Monroe. My son, the sci-fi enthusiast, dressed as some sort of robed, skeletal creature. I was told, I should go as a "normal" mom. Something I have apparently not achieved in life. My mother always spend sthe holiday with us. She dresses as a clown--or some variation. This year she was a clown with a batgirl mask. She is 65, but she went door-to-door with my kids, receiving candy--enabled by the fact that she is shorter than my son, and he got to go trick-or-treating.

The next day was a continuance--a day to exemplify this life-cycle we are in. All Saint's Day. My nephew turned 12. We feted him over a dinner of (coincidentally) white chicken chili and cornbread. Also, I found out that my friend's father died that morning after a long bout with cancer. Tomorrow I will make a pilgrimage to hug my friend. My arms--a circle. This life--a circle.

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