The Darker Half of the Year

I don’t believe in ghosts or demons from the deep. Then again, I don’t not believe in them either. There’s insufficient evidence for canals on Mars. But I would like if All Hallow’s Eve were more hallowed, if Samhain were a thinning between the worlds, and not a confectioner’s gimmick. These days the closest we come to fear and wonder is paranoia over pedophiles and madmen next door poisoning the Baby Ruth or slipping razor blades in apples. Though, come to think of it, that’s not all that different from the Faeries leaving a changeling for a baby, or being caught up in the Wild Hunt.

Perhaps it’s the missing sense of reverence that no longer attends Halloween, and for some has gone from Christmas and Easter, that I desire. There’s nothing particularly special about those days other than that we’ve set them apart as holidays — and then imbue that day with no significance other than market day. We do the same with somber national holidays like Memorial Day. Thanksgiving we’ve left alone because there’s still Friday to shop. It’s as if shopping is the holiest thing we could possibly do.

What is it I’m looking for, exactly? Something experiential? An ecstatic moment? An imaginary romantic ideal? The annihilation of advertising? Longing for years gone by? Not year-old candy, that’s certain.

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