Fragile

“Your turn in the chair next time,” said October. “I know,” said November. He was pale and thin-lipped. He helped October out of the wooden chair. “I like your stories. Mine are always too dark.” “I don’t think so,” said October. “It’s just that your nights are longer. And you aren’t as warm.” “Put it like that,” said November, “and I feel better. I suppose we can’t help who we are.”
― Neil GaimanFragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders

source: https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/3262727-fragile-things-short-fictions-and-wonders?page=3

As we huddle shivering in our homes on All Hallows Eve and the ghouls and ghosts cavort in the midnight skies, our primitive selves acknowledge how fragile we are. Like porcelain, like butterfly wings, like a head of dandelion seeds about to scramble in the breeze, like a bubble, like a house of cards. We may break and tumble and fall down shattered.

pumpkin lantern

This time of year, Samhain, Hallowe’en, when night has decisively wrestled the majority share from day, half way between solstice and equinox, is when we recognise our vulnerability, confront our fears and make peace with our ancestors.

Tonight our house will be strangely quiet, as Sigoth and I munch pumpkin pie alone. But the gate will squeak and small children will stumble up the dark path to the pumpkin lantern and knock on the door in full expectation of chocolate. And it will be so.

Humans are amazing. We turn frights into fun, and joy into fear, as if alchemy were nothing to be wondered at.

Namaste.

Into Darkness

solar-eclipse

There has been a fair share of darkness around just lately: Rara’s troubles, endless parades of suffering in the news, and seemingly difficulties for many many people at every turn. For EBL there are also a few hard decisions to be made and actions to be taken, and generally the gloom of a British spring matches my internal mood like a carefully chosen designer accessory.

I try to see past it. I try not to allow anger, sadness, pettiness, cynicism and depression get their collective hooves in my door and take their toll. I try to let it go, and then berate myself for my heartlessness.

“What good,” I admonish the demon on my shoulder, “will my crying about it do?”

I act where I can, hold dear ones in my heart, accept that at this time and in this place even I, EBL, have limitations. Obviously once I am Ruler of the World then things will change. Uppances will arrive with vigour. Hens will indeed roost once more in their hereditary establishments. Desserts of a legally balanced variety will be served with gusto. Indeed, everyone will be equipped with a sickle and sent out to reap whatever they have sown. Sadly, until then we wait.

It also occurred to me, either as febrile self-justification or perhaps a sliver of wisdom, that there cannot be light without darkness.

While I mused thus over an early morning beverage, Sigoth read me a joke. I decided then and there that, along with wishing all people peace and joy, I would also wish them a GSOH (good sense of humour). When we can laugh at our petty foibles and pointless posturings, then we can focus on what is important and how we can make practical and achievable changes. And then, my dears, we triumph. The light returns.

So to help me in my new resolve, I want to share with you the joke Sigoth read to me. It’s a Golden Oldie, but I commend it to you as a starter for ten. Brace yourselves.

An optimist thinks the glass is half full.

A pessimist thinks it is half empty.

But an engineer knows that the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

Whether you are in light or darkness, I wish you joy and peace and laughter.

Namaste.