Thursday, October 31, 2019

Samhain 2019



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.
 

-Linda Hogan*



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"
And I remember all of those fellow Beings who are leaving and have been lost to us, the Extinct and Vanishing Species, in this terrible time of loss, the Sixth Extinction.  May they not be forgotten.  The litany is long, and grows longer every day.

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"

PERSEPHONE'S  FEAST  DAY


When all the names are gone
when there is nothing left
for memory to feed upon
November hides
an unborn  promise.

All the wastes of love and time
Become, at last, alchemy.
To ferment their healing, here
in these nigrado depths,
becoming  albedo,
the medicine.

    I offer now bread, red fruit, red wine.
    To life.

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!




2 comments:

Tucson Tom said...

Lauren,
Thank you for sharing your most heartfelt and beautiful message. It inspires gratefulness for all our beloveds who once walked this earth.
Shari Sue James

Trish MacGregor said...

A beautiful tribute!