Tastes of the season into the pot,
bubbling and boiling together til hot,
wafting through air, in steamy puffs and in rings,
are the magic spells and smells that Thanksgiving brings.
Thanksgiving Hotpot, A. E., 2013
For one Night only amid the Pall
Of fleeting days that come with Fall
Into that time of lengthy nights
Come Harvest Moon and candy Rites
For this night only Perils walk
And Nightmares wake as mortals gawk
Upon odd Folk on festooned streets
Marauders bent on taking Treats
For one night only alive They seem
To Whimsic frolic as if a dream
To Caper and Croon til Cock will Crow
With fierce abandon They bestow
For one night only We join the Fest
And add our glee to glamour’s Best
To mix Within and earn Their pass
To hide ourselves amid the Mass
For this night only too soon will end
Sun will rise and Barrier mend
They’ll draw away as if a wand
Had swept them off to Their Beyond
For this night only You too will pine
To be among those few Sublime
Who in Their turn will watch and wait
For warmer Seasons to abate
For this night only They will Return
As surely as the candles Burn
And once more will They dance on scene
With all who welcome Halloween!
by A.E., October 2009
I am encountering a rise in anticipation as the Eve approaches and I find that anticipation can quickly turn to anxious knots as preparations progress. Still its not without merit as I liken it to the same apprehension I would feel venturing out into the darkness, drawn towards the smoky lights of flickering jack-o-lanterns, the more ambitious smoke and mirrors of yard haunts, even the rather mundane porch light. In my day (yes, I am that old) we left the house in our made up costumes, lucky enough when Mom took a hand, and with just a group of friends with hands grasping well worn pillowcases, brown paper bags or the (dare to dream) printed plastic shopping bag, with its colorful Halloween images, take ourselves off into the unknown. This New Yorker Magazine cover by Abe Birnbaum is a wonderful image of a group of friends heading out along well worn or maybe undiscovered paths on that annual candy rite of passage. Certainly the prospect of free candy had its merits, but I think it was the absence of adult supervision that really appealed to me. We could go anywhere – talk to anyone – take part in mazes and haunted garages and plans and plots for short-cuts to far off neighborhoods we only really saw from the school bus windows. It was a no holds barred aberration of rules, instead of being home before the street lights came on we made our way through the darkness to those elusive flickering lights of yards and doorways, instead of making certain we were dressed appropriately for our destination we chose the rattiest or gaudiest draping we could find to deck ourselves out to fit our idea of “witch” or “ghoul” or “Batman” or “princess” and instead of being told we couldn’t have one more piece of candy, we could gorge as we went along, sure in the knowledge of one more street to plunder before the porches went dark. Sigh. So despite the hype of candy checking and actual horror of “trunk o treating” I extend my heartfelt appreciation to those of you still doing it the old fashioned way on both sides of the door. To you Trick or Treaters and Haunters everywhere making the journey and the destination equally worthwhile.
This one I will preface by saying you may have noticed in my header the lines from a poem that I change occasionally. I post it here in its complete form, I hope you enjoy it. The work was inspired by this stamp image that I once purchased after customizing with a line from my poem. I am getting these again this year for my Halloween invites, you can purchase by the sheet, these are a great product offered by Zazzle.com go online and pick and choose and edit to your hearts desire. Can’t wait to use these again. Enjoy!
“Stroll with me beneath the Moon,
for surely They’ll be coming soon
to share with us the deepening gloom,
that must be Halloween.
Fellow Revelers walk this Night,
as They awake from yearly plight
deprived til now of sweet delight,
that must be Halloween.
Mischievousness the only goal,
for these few hours on parole.
And none but They could be so droll
that must be Halloween.
Sorry am I that They must wait,
upon the Eve to cross the gait.
Alas that is Their yearly Fate,
that must be Halloween.
All too soon the Night will fade,
and All shall pass into the Shade
to wait upon the next parade,
that must be Halloween.
Perhaps you’ll stroll with me once more,
when Gate stands wide and Spirits tour.
No other sight stir’s my hearts core,
that must be Halloween.”
I haven’t yet thanked everyone out there who is stopping by to visit – the days (and nights) are quickly passing and our Big Night is advancing and I wanted to reach out a bit and express my gratitude to Countdown to Halloween blogspot for hosting their compendium of Halloween blogs again this year. It’s a great concept and much appreciated by me not only to be included but to have access to so many interesting and quirky blogs. Fun to see so many sides to Halloween, the different perspectives and niche interests that expand and expound the experience. If you are of the same mind, just click the Cryptkeeper button at the right to delve into the deep end yourself.
I am highlighting some of my writing this October, so if you stay awhile I hope you enjoy some of what I have and will be posting and this Mirth and Musings highlights another of my New Yorker covers. I love the mischief in her eyes, seemingly to catch a peek at some malevolence to be sure. Perhaps she is waiting to take a hand, or just enjoying the dreadfulness from afar…sure in her ability to provoke and promote misdeeds herself and appreciating others efforts. In either case, that piercing gaze would unsettle my mettle. Wonderful.
Rogers Gardens has announced their annual Halloween Boutique Opening “Grimm Tales” will debut on Friday, September 2nd @ 9:00am! Visiting this amazing boutique yearly has become a favorite for me and I hope you find time to stop by, it will not disappoint.
“The forest is dark and enchanted…branches creak and leaves rustle as trees close in, obscuring the path home. Wander deep into the shadows and you’ll find frightful folklores, fantastical stories and chilling tales. These bedtime stories will give you nightmares, and you’ll discover that not all fairy tales end happily-ever-after.” –Rogers Gardens
I bid you all a wonderful, magical, terrifying, spooky, surprising, delectable, beguiling, bewitching, shivers down your spine All Hallows Eve! Hope at the end of it you all get what you were hoping for, with a fair share of surprises along the way. No haunt for me this year, finances prevented, but for the first time in years I am out and about. Trying new things can be exciting, though I admit to some trepidation as I venture beyond the yard. I will miss the doorbells and knocks, the shrieks and costume parade. As the curtain rises on all the hard work of you Haunters out there I will light candles (placed inside pumpkins) to your diligence, creativity, and perseverance. I applaud you all and wish you well. See you on the other side.
Going to age myself a bit here, but couldn’t help it. While sorting through my TNY collection this Charles E. Martin cover made me smile wistfully as I remembered something from my childhood; something I couldn’t wait for when school days began in September as Halloween usually prompted the first one of the year. The classroom party. The chalkboard covered with the list of necessaries for a decent shindig and Mrs. Gresham or Mr. Argast signing up kids next to each one, invariably the “paper plates and napkins” and “cups” would go to that same kid in the front row whose arm would shoot up the moment the teacher asked. I don’t know, maybe he was baking challenged. The rest of us divvied up the cookies, brownies, other varied treats of no name, bottles of pop, etc for the Friday party. I remember classroom games, like heads up seven up and chalkboard hangman. I remember a parade of students walking around the quad proudly displaying homemade costuming. Teachers dressed as their alter egos (or true natures) best suggested. Trick or treating room to room with each classroom decked out along its own theme. The truncated lessons to make time to just enjoy the holiday undiminished by political correctness. Madcap and mayhem would eventually ensue in the sugar tide, everyone going home clutching a paper plate with various goodies to enjoy over the weekend shared with family, if they survived the bus ride or walk home that is.
The title for this post is a line from the Don Mclean song written for quite another Vincent, but I thought it appropriate here in deference to this amazing collective by the Del Valle Archives. Click pic to take you to the site but beware its for diehards only, as its a bit of a process to acquire from this collection. Worth the effort, let me assure you. While the anniversary of his death is later this month, this can serve as a reminder, should any be needed, that there is much of October left to enjoy his movies and legacy. I am off to watch Laura, where he delights in my favorite of his character roles. Mmmm, Noir!
These spectacular images designed by Nico Delort for Dark Hall Mansion go on sale tomorrow, Tuesday October 13! This collection is a masterwork of theme and design and are certain to sell out quickly. For more information on this incredible set, visit the DHM site. Pic is clickable. Check their blog for more information. Don’t wait to get yours. I won’t.