I'm getting ready for my annual "Feast of Samhain", and as I do I remember all of those I've loved, all the people who are invited in spirit to the Feast, all the people who have given me my life and its experiences, and all those, whose names are lost yet live inside our blood and our genes, all of those who came before us to bring us here, in this time, in this moment.
Walking, I am listening. Suddenly all my ancestors are behind me. Be still, they say. Watch and listen. You are the fruit of the love and labor of thousands.
As always, I grouse at the loss of the sanctity of "Hallowed Eve" replaced with scary ghosts - although, costume balls and trick or treating is something I remember with a lot of affection. But.... Witches on brooms! Hah! The meaning of the broom was an ancient folk tradition of "sweeping away the Bad", sweeping out of the house the bad energies, evil spirits, and illness. And the ghosts...........well, that's what the Feast, like Dia de los Muertos, made very memorable Tucson's All Souls Procession, is all about: inviting the Beloved Dead to the party, setting the place of honor at the head of the table for them, drinking their favorite wine and preparing their favorite dishes, and lovingly telling their stories, jokes, and singing their songs. Mexicans often set up their celebrations in graveyards.
Among those I remember are my mother, father, grandparents, my brother Glenn, and my two oldest friends, Joanna Brouk the composer and Felicia Miller, poet and writer. I so often think of them wondering how it's possible I have out lived them. Abby Willowroot, Priestess of the Goddess and creator of the Goddess 2000 Project, and Jeff Rosenbaum, a prime creator of the Starwood Festival and A.C.E. Nanci Nelson, a friend in a time of need, and Norman Rogers, a faithless yet memorable lover.
And my good friend Charlie Spillar, who left us just this month. And so many more...............Thank you, all, for gracing my life. Come to the Feast all!
|"The Sixth Extinction"|
I always leave Pomegranates for Persephone on my Alter. Every year this time I remember a poem I wrote for Persephone that I still love, that is perhaps about the Feast of Samhain as well.
PERSEPHONE'S FEAST DAY
When all the names are gone
when there is nothing left
for memory to feed upon
an unborn promise.
All the wastes of love and time
Become, at last, alchemy.
To ferment their healing, here
in these nigrado depths,
I offer now bread, red fruit, red wine.
To the harvest that was,
the kisses of summer past
fragrant as petals on the wind,
to the poet and the bard, the mother and husband,
laughter of children, the confidence
of bountiful fortune.
And to those outcast as well -
the inarticulate, the lost, the hungry and fallen.
To every transparent lover
wandering these bardos in their solitude.
To age and youth, light and dark,
Tenderly entwined in their embrace:
Come to the table, all.
Here is a rich conversation
harvested from the last living garden.
A dappled pear, an apple, a ripe pomegranate
A butterfly in its chrysalis, sleeping.
The slow rebirth of color
deep in the depths of this dream.
The sundial will circle once more,
The wheat has new life in it yet.
The blessing will be given.
BLESSED SAMHAIN TO ALL!