Hallowe’en! It’s late as I write this, past midnight, and we’ve just finished watching Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas. Haden, the Convivio Shopcat, who had spent the evening atop the bookcase in the print shop, has a way of knowing when movies are over. She strolls in usually as the credits are rolling, which was the case tonight, and she leapt up on the desk during the haunting Nightmare instrumental music, making Seth and me both shriek at the same time. She likes doing that, too. The film rolled from credits to DVD bonus feature, and we got to see something we had never seen before, even though we’ve had the DVD for years: the short film of the original Nightmare Before Christmas poem that Tim Burton wrote, narrated by Christopher Lee, and Haden stayed to watch some of that, too, and there, above, is the photograph Seth snapped, and now here we are, you and me, at this late and witching hour. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
This is a Hallowe’en house if there ever was one, and Haden, I think, appreciates the pumpkins and the orange lights, orange like she is. She revels in that warm orange glow. Once Seth hangs the black paper bat mobile from the pendant lamp above the kitchen table, as he does each Hallowe’en, she will revel in the bats, too, and we will, no doubt, find her often on the table, beneath them. The bats that dangle low will brush her ears on occasion, making them twitch, which only reminds me of the poem Hist Whist by e.e. cummings and its line about “little twitchy witches and tingling goblins.”
As holidays go––and you know me, I love them all––Hallowe’en is one of my favorites. I remember every costume I wore when I was a boy: astronaut, scarecrow, Charlie Chaplin, hobo. The hobo was an old standby. When we couldn’t figure out what I would be, Grandma would start to sewing patches on my CPO coat, Mom would put a beard on me with makeup, and we’d pull a crushed hat from the closet. Then off I’d go, trick or treating. And maybe we love Hallowe’en so as adults because it is filled with vibrant memories like this.
We’ve got a busy few days ahead as Hallowe’en ushers in All Saints Day and then, on the 2nd, All Souls Day: Dia de Muertos. Our time of remembrance of those who have come and gone before us continues through to Martinmas on the 11th of November. I’ll write more about these things as they unfold. For tonight, though, a simple wish for a warm and spirited Hallowe’en. And if you’ve not received this year’s Convivio Dispatch for Hallowe’en (it would’ve come to your inbox as an email late last night), I’ve figured out a way you can read it without being a subscriber. It’s magic. All you have to do is click here.
Happy Hallowe’en from all of us at Convivio Bookworks: Seth, Haden, and me.