READ ME ... yeah, right. Right?

I'm sick of everyone else having on-line diaries. I want one too.

What is this all about? Maybe you should read the READ ME READ ME.

october 31, 1998:
light a candle

It was the best almost-kiss I ever didn't have.

It is ironic and fitting both that Yale J. Weiner died on Halloween. Now every year on the day traditionally devoted to the worship of the dead, I get a wonderful opportunity to honor Yale's life.

Samhain is when the new year of the earth begins, the midpoint between Autumn Equinox and Winter Solstice. It is said to be the time to think about our own mortality. The veil between the worlds of living and deceased is thinnest on this night, which is how it feels to me.

Samhain is one of the year's most significant witching festivals, which is why the church has hated it so much. The ghost is the most descriptively accurate representative of the holiday, because Samhain is dedicated to ghosts of all generations at a time when worship of ancestors was the most common way that people bonded. Ghosts were invited to holiday dinners as guests; in fact, surprisingly, "ghost" and "guest" used to be the same word. These Feasts of the Dead are one of the most important time-locked cracks between the worlds.

According to legend, if the ghosts were sufficiently well entertained and revered, they would provide prophetic advice to their descendants.

I often like to think about what Yale would say if he knew me now, how he would advise me, and what insight he would add to my experience of living. Things he said to me still resonate; he knew me very well.

I think that Yale might have disapproved of the comment I made while driving John and his former college roommate from the synagogue to the graveyard where he was about to be buried.

"Think of all of the happiness he will miss," said Yale's former roommate.

"Yes, but think of all the pain he'll miss as well," I replied.

Today we are supposed to prioritize honoring the lives and works of dead women over that of dead men, in order to compensate somewhat for the manner in which patriarchal society historically undervalues women's contributions. And in adherence to that admonishment, I did call my Grandmother.

But Yale had a profound effect on my life, and tonight I want to honor him.

Trick or treating derived from a British custom of begging for the poor, and the children who do it represent the future for us all. When we give them sweets, we wish for them a sweet future. When we give alms to the poor today, the spirits smile upon us.

But it is not the children but rather the elderly that embody the true value of Samhain. According to Celtic legend, the four great grandmothers of Halloween hold the great treasures: the cauldron of rebirth represents pleasure; the stone of destiny represents power; the sorceress's spear represents courage; and the invincible sword represents knowledge.

For the first time in many years, I live in a home accessible directly to the outside world. What that means is that I finally might have a chance to treat trick-or-treaters (since trick or treaters don't swing through apartment buildings all that often). There is no shortage of children on my block, as well, and I took great joy in picking out candy at Walgreens in giddy anticipation and hopes of them coming by.

And if they don't come by, I'll give the candy to the homeless instead, as a insufficient yet good-spirited memorial to my favorite ghost, whose spirit still lives within me.

pass through the veil

the case against Microsoft
stereotypes make bad marketing
7 Questions, Answered
Burning Man Photos
Silicon Spin.
New References Galore!
more stuff.

thanks, COMOFLOW





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Copyright 1996, 1997, 1998 Rebecca L. Eisenberg All rights Reserved.