As a child, I wanted Morticia and Gomez Addams to be my parents. How cool would it be to live in such an extraordinary house with your own mad scientist lab, unusual creatures, and live a life where every day was Halloween? Nothing you did could be strange enough. Nothing you tried would ever be considered ridiculous, ludicrous, or unrealistic. You would always be encouraged to go farther, to not hold yourself back, to just go balls-to-wall freaky and be appreciated for it.
Don’t get me wrong. I love my parents very much. Yes, they are human beings with issues, but overall they were damn fine parents and I am one of few who can attest I had a happy childhood.
But….as a kid we all fantasized about having a different life. Waking up one day and realizing you’re a princess or your father is Superman or your parents are super-secret agents. My fantasy was that I was an Addams. An Addams that dressed in GAP clothes, collected comic books, wrote horror stories at the age of 11, played with Legos and Barbies, and looked like your average, extra tall girl.
I suppose, to coin a phrase from Seanan McGuire, I am a Pumpkin Girl. One who likes to be pretty and carry a chainsaw. Or in my case, feel pretty and squeal with delight at how cute Alien is. Who doesn’t like Lovecraft, but adores Gaiman. Who dresses in jeans and high heeled boots, but wishes she lived in a Tim Burton movie.
The thought trigger behind this declaration is on the full moon of this month, I experienced a perfect piece of time. You’ve had them. A moment that is so intricate and perfect and naturally choreographed, no one could have been able to orchestrate it any better if they tried. Well, every October on the Labyrinth Moon, a few friends and I have continued a tradition I started years ago, the tradition of pathworking in a corn maze. Very simple, yet very powerful.
We did our customary prayers before entering the maze and with no help from the Hint Cards, we traversed the maze by our intuition and our goddess alone. There have been years of mud, rain, and clear skies. This year was the most amazing ever. There was a thin cloud cover to keep the heat in, but the moon’s rays illuminated the clouds like a low burning candle. The maze was well kept and the corn was very, very high; leaning and stretching like bony fingers from the ground. Next door was the pricier, and more popular, “Haunted Maze” where one could hear the teenage girls scream, the teenage boys guffaw, and the chainsaws….well…..chainsaw. Theme music from movies like “The Omen”, “Jaws” and “Halloween” crept effortlessly over the corn fields like dark silk. A nearby oak tree, massive in its age and wisdom, had thick, webby fog.
My friend and I took in the atmosphere and took our time walking the different paths. Occasionally we would hear an ominous gong sound within the heart of the maze. I put my ear close to the corn, “Do they have speakers in this maze too? I thought it was just the Haunted one?” The gong ricocheted off the mist and the corn and added an extra touch of spookiness.
Finally, after completing half the maze, we turned left, and were greeted with a straight path that led to a completely open area. I sucked in my breath. Before our eyes, mist was swirling around the tops of the corn. Spirals of movement could be seen and for the first time that evening, we witnessed a thinning of the veil. Swirls danced around. “I think I just saw a fae,” muttered my friend. We slowly stepped into the opening and realized it was in the shape of a heart. We were literally in the heart of the maze. In the center of that heart was a Tibetian bell. On that bell was a sign, “This bell represents your dream. Let others hear your dreams.” So we did. We each struck the bell 3-5 times and our dreams rippled out into the corn field and beyond the veil.
I stopped. I took a moment. Turning slowly round (and then twirling like Julie Andrews) I soaked in the mist, the low hanging fog, the eerie oak tree, the corn marking the boundary of this scared space, and the music…..by the gods I was so full of bliss and glee, I could’ve just popped. Or melted. Or both. I felt like I was in the middle of a Tim Burton movie and that the headless horseman was going to come riding out of the corn any second. Knowing me I would wave hello and duck.
It was a perfect piece of time. A spooktacular bliss that I shall cherish and tuck away with my two other perfect moments:
1. Senior year in high school, homecoming game, Halloween night. The moon was full and before half-time, the game was called off due to the impressive fog bank that rolled in. I remember walking back to the school and not being able to see anything beyond a five foot radius. Yet I could hear everyone else; their voices distorted and echoey as the fog warped reality. I loved every minute of it.
2. July 4th a few years ago in Logan, Ohio. I was visiting friends and the custom was to watch the fireworks being lit in the next county. How do we do that? By going to the highest point in town. And where was that? In a small, very old cemetery where an oak tree named Thor resided. Other people brought lawn chairs, but I opted to politely ask a resident if I may please use his headstone as my seat. He didn’t mind at all. So I sat there. On a headstone, in a cemetery, watching the fireworks as the lightening bugs floated about.
What’s your spooktacular bliss?