18 Days of Halloween: Day 7

hand made cards, collage art

My love letter to Stephen King.

(Side Note:  This is my 500th post.  I like round numbers.)

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18 Days of Halloween: Day 6

hand made cards, collage art

Yesterday’s Halloween post vanished for awhile, so I posted it again.  Then, it showed up later with ectoplasm dripping.  WordPress is haunted.  How fun is that?

18 Days of Halloween: Day 5

Halloween Costumes

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18 Days of Halloween: Day 4

hand made cards, collage art

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18 Days of Halloween: Day 3

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18 Days of Halloween: Day 2

hand made cards, collage art, vintage

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18 Days of Halloween: Day 1

hand-made cards, collage art

♠ ♠ ♠

Okay, eighteen is a weird number, but I only just thought of doing this, and there are eighteen days left until Halloween, so… On top of that, Halloween (Samhain, Día de los Muertos, All Saints Day) is my absolute favorite holiday, so any way I can figure to celebrate it must be honored.  Sharing my weird art always feels like a celebration.  And sharing weird Halloween art… well… the spirits are pleased.

October Wet

hand-made card, Halloween, collage art

 … … …

Rain this morning.  Drumming on the vents and a lush sizzle as early cars drive by.  October wet.  October dark.  The Veil billows and flaps as we slide closer to Samhain.  Thunder grumbles.  They wait.

Happy Halloween

Samhain (“sow-in”) is the traditional pagan New Year when the veil between the worlds is thinnest and communication is possible with those on the other side.  In the Latin American tradition, The Day of the Dead allows the spirits to revisit their families and taste again their corporeal joys.  Christian tradition adds All Saints Day, which honors those who have passed on, and All Souls Day tomorrow, which is a time to pray for those in purgatory to be released to heaven.

Whatever tradition you enjoy, this is a time for reflection on our own lives in relation to those who have died.  We remember and give thanks for how they touched and blessed us, and we turn our attention to making better choices, and living in a way that honors them.

On this day, may the Spirits touch you gently and bring you peace.

Drifting in the Surreals

The past few days have been odd.  It’s the time of year when the veil between Worlds grows thin, and elements bleed from one side to the other.  But, Death and Change are thick like burning leaves in the air—and I’m still coughing.

I saw my psychiatrist for the first time in several months.  Just a check-in.  She seemed at loose ends, since I’m not on medication and not clamoring for some kind of relief.  She asked lots of questions about how I manage my illness, praised my blog, then asked if I wanted to come back “in six months, twelve months, or never.”  We decided it was best to come back in a year, that way I’d still be on the books “just in case” (I’m big on safety nets).  But, how weird to be officially on my own.  My shrink can’t help me.  My therapist can’t help me.  I’m scouting new frontiers in bipolarism, with no “experts” to refer to or fall back on.  It’s exciting and scary.

Then, the father of a dear friend passed away, which is a weird juxtaposition since our family is waiting for my dad to do the same.  She’s home from Minnesota, tending to the funeral details.  I find I’m mentally taking notes, because I’ll be doing the same things soon.  She came over for a while last night, a chance to talk without worrying about her mom or siblings.  Everything she said could have come out of my mouth, every emotion from my own heart.  How odd and beautiful to have a close friend traveling this path with me.  It’s like an echo of my own voice coming out of the mist.

And we hover in this strange holding pattern with my dad.  Every day he fails a little more—now using oxygen, now confined to bed.  He still knows us all, but gets confused—a combination of morphine and kidney failure.  Some days it seems disrespectful to talk about his funeral arrangements.  Other days it seems proper to get those details out in the open and checked off our invisible list.  Some days we feel lifted when he eats a few bites of oatmeal.  Other days, we wish the aides would just let him rest.

This is the dance we weave between the Worlds—one step back into the past, one step forward into the future, then a shuffle-rest in the present.  I find that when I’m with Dad, I’m really with him—not thinking about our past or his future, but touching his swollen hand, listening to his weak words, looking into his pale eyes.  It’s very restful there with him, just waiting and being present.  Around me, the situations and events of the past few days swirl in surreal colors.  But sitting next to Dad, things seem quite clear.

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