Miss Annie's Halloween Guide to Lighter Living!
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where yet another election cycle proves us right: Democracy doesn't work. Stupid people vote stupidly, against their own interests. So let's all eat cake as if we really have some! And stay healthy, folks. By all means, stay healthy.
No politics here today. There's more important news afoot. To whit, you are looking at the 2010 Community Group Costume First Prize Winners in the Snob Township Halloween Parade!
Yes, yes! The Monkey Man and I decided, quite upon the spur of the moment, to enter the Snob Township Halloween Parade instead of marching in the Snobville parade, which is really only a bunch of cute rich kids walking down the street with their parents. Snob Township has a real parade that gives out cash prizes for costumed "mummers." (Sorry that I stiffed you for photos, Wanda! Do you forgive me?)
Given about two hours to prepare for the event, I fell back on my Fairie Festival couture, and of course summoned the loyal dragon, Big Red. I figured the Monkey Man would be attired in his customary tie-dye and jester hat.
I was wrong. Monkey Man decided to attire himself as Edgar Allan Poe. He has a crow puppet that used to make a "caw" noise (until one liquor-fueled poetry gathering in which I made the crow caw too much and broke his vocal apparatus). On the beak of the crow you can see a sign: "Nevermore." And because the raven sits on a bust in the poem, Monkey Man had brought a bust of Mr. Spock. So when the judge came around to ask who we were, we said we represented Pizza and Poetry of Camden (true) and that MM was EAP and Big Red was the Jabberwock.
And so we marched into the autumn air, surrounded by other lively mummers. My guess is that we won in the community group category because we didn't have much competition. The costumed mummers were mostly families, teens, small floats. Stuff like that.
On Samhain morning I rose very early and drove to Ridley Creek State Park, where our Druid Grove meets. The only other member of our Grove who could come that day was Muin, and his time was limited. So we took a hike to the Pennsylvania champion black oak, out in the woods, and sat for awhile talking about our ancestors. We did nothing formal in the way of Ritual, but there was certainly something holy about sitting in the crisp leaves, backs to a 150-year-old oak, talking about faraway Scotland. I learned a good deal more about Muin than I knew before, all of it adding to the high esteem in which I hold him.
Drove back home, carved some jack-o-lanterns to keep away the bad spirits, and had the pleasure of spending the afternoon with my nearest and dearest. Heir was home from college, and she cobbled together a costume so she could walk around Snobville with the elusive Seitou (who only comes out on Halloween. Really.) Spare, now 16, insisted on trick-or-treating, but she came back with a small trove. It was the idea that counted, not the booty.
Family Johnson had a feast of a supper. Then Mr. Johnson had to drive Heir back to college.
I wanted to build a bonfire, but the hour was advancing and the breeze was just a tad stiff. So I kindled some dragon's blood and candles on the Shrine of the Mists and greeted the most deeply ancient bored deities, lost to the mists of time. It was like a receiving line -- me honoring Them, Them bestowing peace and gladness on me. After all the festivities, it was transporting to sit in wafts of incense, meditating on the Divine and all goodness.
Later, Spare and I watched "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" on YouTube. Amazing. If you haven't seen that in awhile, don't forget the inspired segment about the World War I Flying Ace. Terrific.
It wasn't until I slogged home Monday evening, dead exhausted from teaching, that I learned of the great triumph Monkey Man and I achieved. Oh, readers! I'm thrilled with it yet! And since it was the Monkey Man's idea to go to Snob Township instead of Snobville, I'm giving him the entire $25.00, even though I picked it up from Snobmont Hardware yesterday. I've got a nice buzzard card all picked out to put the dough in. Monkey Man deserves it!
If someone were to ask me the secret to life, I would have to say this: Act like a kid on those occasions when society welcomes it. Feel like a kid at all times. Lastly, on holy evenings, be still and know that They are with you. Your most distant ancestors appreciate the devotional.
The word of the Gods for the people of the Gods. Thanks be to the Gods! Breathe and be happy.