Friday, October 31, 2008
Zombies Run WildI walked into a Halloween store the other day and felt profoundly disturbed. Everywhere I looked there were images of gore. Severed heads with staring bloody eyeballs. Truncated torsos. Scars and mutilations and carnage.
It was like visiting the inside of my brain. These days my head is filled with the pain that humans can inflict upon each other. Betrayals of trust. Fabrics of families and schools and countries torn apart by free-wheeling moral recklessness. The past reaching up to destroy the present and future. Mental illness. Greed. Selfish and nihilistic pleasure-taking. And the horrifying undercurrent of hatred and fear against one of the most inspiring and high-minded statesmen our generation has ever seen.
Shadow is bursting out all over. In our lives, in the world, it seems like we are getting polarized. The brightness is getting brighter, and the shadow is going crazy making itself known. Like bugs scattering when the light bulb is turned on, I'm seeing things scuttling back into corners. And the snapshots of their ugliness is imprinted inside me. Makes me recoil. Wakes me up at night.
Halloween has a purpose. It makes this fear and revulsion conscious, present. We can put on these costumes and laugh. We can alchemize the things that repel and frighten us, and turn the tables on brutality and atrocity and death.
Frankly, for me, it's giving me the creeps, even as I can intellectually understand it. It's too close to home. Too similar to the thoughts that are haunting me in my witching hours in the middle of the night.
Tonight I plan to do this holiday justice. Armed with a cosmopolitan, my lover and a kid who still loves to dress up, I plan on walking up and down the street taking good stock of all of this. I want to look at the false images of carnage and horror and understand what they mean.
Bringing the inside out is what we do when we open up our psyche's crypt and let the zombies run free. We are giving death the finger. And in the process of doing this, I can hopefully start seeing the world as it is -- my children healthy, my household safe, my body whole. Right this second, we're OK. The horrors of the past and future can stay there, in the past, in the future. The past and future don't exist anyway.
So let the monsters lurk and the witches scream. As long as we can bring consciousness to the dark underbelly, we're still OK.
# posted by Katherine Doughtie Nolan @ 9:26 AM
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