by Nelson Daily staff on May 13 2013
by Adrian Barnes on May 13 2013
Advanced polling turn-out mirrors 2009 numbers in Kootenay West/ Kootenay East boasts better numbersby Kyra Hoggan on May 13 2013
by Nelson Daily Sports on May 13 2013
Slocan Valley Vendettas knock off Salmo to register inaugural victory; Rossland/Trail too hot to handle for Castlegar Dam Cityby Nelson Daily Sports on May 13 2013
by Kyra Hoggan on Monday May 20 2013
by John King on Thursday May 16 2013
by Kyra Hoggan on Wednesday May 15 2013
by Andre Carrel on Tuesday May 14 2013
by Charles Jeanes on Tuesday May 14 2013
COMMENT: Holiness and Halloween
This week we celebrate Reformation Day on October 31; All Saints Day on November 1; and All Souls Day on November 2. In some parts of the Christian tradition it is said that everyone who ever was part of the Christian communion is one of the Saints in light, while everyone who ever was has a soul and dances at the feet of the divine in one way or other. That might give rise to our celebration of All Hallows' Eve.
Hallows' Eve, or Halloween is a meld of the rites of those who came to Christianity from other faiths, and the beliefs and practices of the new faith they were joining. We celebrate Halloween at the end of the growing year. At the time when the living world beds down to sleep a while, as winter coats the land in snow, covering leaves and firs and mountain sides in a blanket, clean and white.
At this time, when nature settles in to rest, we celebrate harvests with thanksgiving and, reliving ancient rituals, collect food from door to door so that we might feast and celebrate together with our dead. We wear costumes meant to remind us of death, our fear and fascination held up to ridicule and jest. Acknowledging –as we so rarely do –that we are a mortal folk, destined to end our physical lives as all physical life ends. But knowing, in some deep and visceral way, that death is not the end.
A man came into the food bank the other day, saw the jack o' lantern carved and shining on the entrance table, and recoiled in dislike, distaste, perhaps disgust, and left. In his eyes some remnant elder god was being given power by the pumpkin presentation. I was sorry to hear it: it is important that all feel welcome in our space, that all who come hungry go away fed. I would not get between him and his sustenance if I could help it. But there you are, some things I cannot help.
I cannot help a society that refuses to acknowledge death in any real way, for the most part relying on ancient rituals to carry it through without understanding or accepting the reality that death is a part of life--that spring follows winter as rebirth follows death.
I cannot help a system of thought and belief that refuses to see the divine in any making but its own image, that ascribes to pumpkins and potentates an authority to define the divine that Jesus Christ himself refused to carry--even when offered the opportunity, first in the desert, then by the people, then by those who tried him for his refusal.
I cannot help that, but I can muse for a moment or two on all the souls around us. Feast on chocolate in their memory, lives lived and given for peace, for love, for tolerance, for an end to hunger, deprivation, despair and war.
All souls dancing at the feet of God.