Summer's bright tight light is long gone. Your skin is pale, dry...becoming more so with each passing, condensing day. Days that shrivel and shrink. The colder weather sets your face in a pattern of determined yet tired lines, seducing you into a shielded enjoyment of the Sun's rays from a safe, cozy seat in your home.
With the beginning of autumn came the promise of renewed focus and productivity. Shrugging off summer's carefree frivolity, you made your lists, stocked your cupboards, and replaced your strappy sandals with durable boots.
But autumn is winding and its peak is truthfully a valley. Descending, descending. Plans and goals of autumn are now empty, grey, stark. Void. The hard work of the harvest has passed and the life that remains is just...hard.
Or maybe it's you that is hard.
Crusty layers of fatigue, insecurity, and fear now clothe your once-bright summer body, with each shield comes another dull dimension of protection. Layer upon layer, we shield ourselves. We protect ourselves.
Curiously, as the peak and valley of autumn steadily descends upon us, the barrier between worlds thins. Fading and disintegrating. The presence of beings, entities, and the dead presses into us in steady and subtle waves.
So we pile on another layer of safety, rounding our backs to carry another burden and furrowing our brows to deal with another disappointment. In this hardened state, we deem ourselves safe. The noise of the waves of the dead can be insulated, right? Closed bodies and clothed auras protect us from the steady pressing of their voices.
Safer to drown in the known layers of drudgery and responsibility than to disrobe? Getting naked in this rising sea of chitter chatter opens our gaze to the pulse of the beyond.
So, we lurch onward, twisted and pulled through the bowels of the year trying to remain hard and protected in our layers as the nutritious juices of our play and plans from seasons past is sucked from our beings.
Whatever we believed ourselves to be dies, decays, and feeds what truly remains. Our eyes dart, nervously, upon the dancing gossamer veil. We silently beg to be disrobed but wrenching fear twists and corrupts the body.
Make me naked again, let me feel the truth of this time of year.
Remind me of how close we all are to one another, to death.
The veil thins and our fear offers a false barricade, but there is no reprieve, no escape from the tunnels of digestion and decay.
Instead, dance through the layers and vigorously shake off the sticky grip of safety's lies.
Embrace the dead and the gone. Feel your tender nudity as you slip under and become squeezed and starved through the tunnels of autumn.
Hallowe'en, a time of contact between dead and alive, a sober reminder of just how close we are to death and decay, a reunion with those who gave us our blood, our motion, our life.
Dance off the layers and be naked. Dance off the dull layers and be translucent. Dance with the others and remember your thirst, your hunger for the blood that enlivens you.
***Art by Laurel Bustamante***