A Spirited Soul

If I were 9-years-old, and living in the Dominican Republic, and my grandmother’s cackles were still bettering the world of the breathing… Then today, my face would be painted gray with ashes and my eyes encircled black with coal, until I resembled a calavera (or skull). We would dress my grandmother’s cross in brightly colored crêpe paper; we would cook sweet beans; and we would tell forever-living tales of our dead. The celebration would be nameless, but every heart and soul—young and old—would know what today was called.

But I’m 38-years-young and living in New York City. So my family and I will spend the day cooking… Then tonight, we’ll carve pumpkins, share a yummy meal, and tell tales of our dead. My cyber-home always partakes in the partying, so I’ve crafted a Halloween(y) haibun for you:

“A Spirited Soul”

I visit the place nearly never. It’s too dark… too many bones… too much death for a spirited soul; except on the day before All Hallows… when with pumpkin chili, rice, rum, Bachata music and belly laughs, my blood celebrates my life.

bare branches rustle
food and song in the graveyard—
to honor the dead.

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Inspired by “The Dead”, winner of From Blackout Poem Bit to Flash Fiction or Full-Length Poetry, 4; and linked to the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, Flash 55.

If you celebrate this witchy holiday, then Happiest Halloween, All Hallows’ Eve, Dia de los muertos, Samhain… and if October 31st holds little or no meaning for you, then Happiest Day.

A Spirited Soul

51 thoughts on “A Spirited Soul

  1. It is important to acknowledge our dead, our ancestors and genetic donors and also to remember our own mortality so as to appreciate life all the more.

  2. Love how you celebrate a day like this in joy… here it’s so solemn, with candles on graveyards flickering in the cold air, like you are barely breathing…

  3. You bring as ever, the fresh and laughing feel of abundance and life to this walk among those who have passed, and whom we honor and miss beside us. Every culture seems to end up here when it tries to cross that threshold, yet few bring joy to the crossing. Hope you had a wonderful Samhain.

    • I think we do the memory of those who have gone (and ourselves, too) a disservice when we don’t do all we can to celebrate their lives… the good and the not so good bits.

      During our All Hallows’ Eve dinner, we kept on putting the tiniest bits of food in my little brother’s offering plate (I set him a place next to me). And we made jokes about how he had gone on a very strict diet. Every time one of us brought up the wee bits of food, we exploded with laughter. You see, my little brother was very overweight. I used to tell him that he needed to control his mouth, to eat less… And he would tell me that he would stop eating when he died…

      Remembering the words is bittersweet, but repeating them at the table–while we eat the foods that he loved and listened to the music he listened to–bring his memory a bit closer to us. There is no reason why one shouldn’t mourn happily. Oxymoronic, maybe, but it feels right… and healthy to me.

      I hope your Samhain was full of wonder!

  4. Happy Halloween, dear Magaly!

    Your Eve sounded very warm and cozy. I am nursing and hangover and cookover (feet, back and belly :)) today, while my poor man got called away to work, sick and tired as he was.

    Ps. What a beautiful candle.

  5. A day that has various meanings for many people. A day to honor the dead, the saints, and those needing our prayers (what it means to me) And of course, a reminder we are all mortal.

    “My blood celebrates my life”… I like that a lot.

    • I think it’s one of the reasons why Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. So many different people celebrated in so many wonderful ways…

      I wish all your prayers reached those you aimed them to.

  6. Blessings on all the celebrations. I’m excited to hear that in the future I can hold your books in my hands { yay }. I hope November holds new adventures for you and your family.

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