Methods & Muses Vol. 26
Until I Let it Ghost
Hello All and Happy Hallows!
I hope you’ve been enjoying this season of spirits. As I wander my new neighborhood, I take note of the range with which people celebrate this time. From cute to creepy, friendly Frankenstein’s to zombie brides, many of us mark October with symbols of the supernatural.
I especially like the Hallow-tokens and practices that honor potential. Yes, potential, because for me, Halloween is a hopeful time of year, a time of transformation.
Dressing in a costume is an opportunity to be someone or something else. How good is this for our brains, our senses of pretend, performance and connection?
Carving a pumpkin is a chance to sculpt with food – to inhale an earthy-sweet scent, scoop slimy strings and squishy guts and then roast, salt and crunch seeds. Yum! Sure, jack-o-lanterns may frighten ghosts, but couldn’t these delicious gourds also invite them, light the way?
Playing with ghosts is imagining that perhaps those who have passed are still around, maybe in another form, traveling within another dimension. Who’s to say?
Like a sprite, I play in the mystic. I shuffle and snap my Tarot deck. I flirt with questions for the Ouija board, and if I were invited to a séance, I’d go. Why not?
Nature is real, so it could follow that the super-nature-al may also be real.
Like most of us, I don’t really know what a soul is or what happens after our skeletons break down. Given all the passion, the ideas of an after-life, I try to stay open-minded.
I like the Jungian belief in the collective unconscious. Maybe when we dream, our brains create another sphere in which to travel.
Maybe our breath is a heaven-dimension, and when we sing or recite poetry, we move ourselves toward a celestial space.
Maybe the center of the Earth, with all her fire, is hell, but not in a scary way, more in a purposeful, burn-it-to-encourage-new-growth kind of a way.
Maybe when we pass, we turn into an element or a color. Wouldn’t that be wild?
Who am I to say?
I am a very curious girl. By nature, as an artist, I dabble in magic.
I write poetry. I speak poems aloud. I sing, dance, draw, stitch, assemble and collage – all of these are my acts of communing with the ‘other’ world of my imagination. Yes, I’m there, in the present, inside my brain. I’m talking with my body, but I’m also in the past with my memories, and I’m working toward a future, something that I won’t know is, a thing that doesn’t yet exist, until I make it and let it go, skip-hop-and-go, in go-go boots…
Until I let it ghost.
I feel a ghost-gather when I’m with other artists.
This Autumn has been particularly lucky.
I had dinner under the stars with several fantastic witches, one of whom I’ve known for a few years, Nickole Brown, and others I’d only met recently – Alison Townsend, Catherine Jagoe, Rita Mae Reese, Heather Swan and Christine Wenc. Within our dinner salon, time didn’t matter. We skipped the small talk, dove right in, told stories, honored each other’s sadness, cackled and shared joy. I love making new friends.
At a reading at Art Lit Lab, I met another new poet, Cynthia Hoffman. She asked a great question during the Q&A, and she wore fabulous boots. Cynthia and I stood outside in the rain chatting, and by the end of our brief conversation, we had exchanged contact information. I think there was something that we recognized in one another, and I look forward to wandering or attending a reading with her soon.
I had coffee with my childhood friend and Sewist, Alicia Glassel. She and I are conversing through collage. Yes, indeed! We’ve chosen themes, dimensions and materials, and we send each other our collages through the mail, adding to them, speaking though paper, found image, embroidery floss and beads. When she came through Madison, we exchanged collages in person. Both of us had channeled cats, (witch-familiars) and this was delightful! I can’t wait to see what happens next.
And I visited my family of witches– Artist-Brother Matthew, Poet-Uncle Tommy and Aunt Darlene, Fairy-Godmother Barbie, Uncle Chuck and Aunt Deb, Cousins Beth, Cathy and Tony, and Baby Cousins, Ellie and Anastasia.
I’ll close with a Hallows story, a little conversation between Baby Cousin Ellie and me, and a shopping trip with Barbie-Fairy-Godmother. Ok, so Ellie is not exactly a baby, and she’d probably get mad and insist that she was not, so I must rewrite. Ellie is NOT a baby. She is fierce. She’s coming into her witch powers, and I respect her.
So she and I were chatting over lunch and I asked…
M: What do you want to be for Halloween?
E: A pink fairy!
M: Oh, you sound very sure of this.
E: (looks at me like Duh)
M: (filling in the awkward silence): What do you think I should be?
E: (throws me some rock-n-roll horns and growls) A witch!
M: (I signal back) Done. I’d be honored.
The next day, Benjamin, Barbie and I went to a thrift store. True to her title, my Fairy Godmother found not one, but three pairs of wings – a purple pair (for Ellie’s older sister, Penelope), a tiny green pair (for true-baby sister, Anastasia) and yes, a pink pair, perfect for Ellie.
Some things are meant to be.
Enjoy your Hallows. May you go-and-ghost in style.