Too bad I couldn’t find the custom canines, but I think the fangs are clearly implied.
I am so very happy that I can celebrate such things. Jehovah’s Witnesses and other groups who can’t find the spirit in Hallowe’en are really missing out.
As the photos de-monstrate, I embraced my shadow and it was as thrilling and as unnerving as always. Found a few more worthy bits to reposition, save and integrate. Such exploration is palpably good for the soul (despite appearances).
I call attention to the construction of the word “demonstrate” with a hyphen. Why?
Latin dēmōnstrāre, dēmōnstrāt- : dē-, completely; see de– + mōnstrāre, to show (from mōnstrum, divine portent, from monēre, to warn).
To divinely portend, to call out a warning, to make manifest or apparent, display, evidence, evince, exhibit, manifest, proclaim, reveal, show, authenticate, bear out, confirm, corroborate, endorse, establish, evidence, prove, substantiate, validate, verify.
To demonstrate is thus also to un-conceal, to dis-cover.
Truth as endorsed warning and as authentic manifestation of such warning AS truth – but also holding a warning about that very act. A complete showing that warns about itself, like an Angel of Annunciation. But do not fear.
Oh, it’s a lovely emblematic truthing, but with a warning about that truth, too. The truth will set you free, but it’s not always easy.
The word “demonstrate” also suggests something to the ear – “demon-straight.”
Damned straight! Straight to hell! It shows what we most demonize, but what we demonize is also sacred to us because there is an attraction at the heart of the repulsion. It’s inherently unstable with regard to anything but its power.
Such signage can be archetypal and playful identifications can de-”monster” – precisely by letting the demon-monster live for a little while, so that one can pick up some of the good monster traits while letting go of elements that have been recognized (but no longer denied or forgotten).
I am not free of the vampire. Where is that body? Where is that blood? Gimme communion. Gimme carnality and spirit. Gimme unrepressed gratification of my desires. I would love to swoon. I would love to take a walk on the dark side. Of course, I pass out at the sight of blood, but I do love vampire novels. It’s all a dream, and to pick out the parts that really can be integrated into me, into my life, into my own sense of ethics and my own spiritual journey, is always enlightening. It reminds me a lot of the way I used to collect rocks.
I think McCain and some of the Republican Party are vampires, and that is what I despise about them. I do love to despise their bloodthirstiness, their preying upon the sub-millionaires among us, their cynical manipulations of the public, their disregard of what it takes for people and countries to thrive. And it’s true – so true – that they are vampires in these ways.
But Barack Obama is right, I think, not to manifest and feed that set of truths because it can’t be taken playfully or dissipated with court-jester humor that speaks truth. It’s too real, and the consequences are too important. The alternative is to recognize, but to lead with an different vision, one that refuses to demonize others. We are all Americans, after all, and a President should think of just as many of the people as he or she can.
I think it is wise to have elections a few days after Hallowe’en, and it is especially important this year. It works the same way as a picture of Cheney as the Evil Emperor with George W as Darth Vader; the fear that is inspired by the recognition of a deep truth in it is – at the same time – dissipated through its very manifestation. They really ARE those characters, and thank goodness they really aren’t.
I have been fearing that what (at least a subset of) the Republicans are trying to catalyze will work, and that hatred and violence will escalate. I am hoping that projections of evil otherness must at some point become so obvious, so de-monstrable even to the far-right wing, that they will just fall down and implode. It looks a little better now for the latter scenario than it did even a week ago.
After such playful shadow-work as seems inherent in the celebrations and rituals of Hallowe’en, I am less angry, and much more hopeful.