1920s Halloween Fashion Show
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“The very dust and silence…seemed to tingle with a secret magic.” J.K. Rowling
“There she weaves by night and day, / A magic web with colors gay / She has heard a whisper say, / A curse is on her if she stay // … And moving thro’ a mirror clear / That hangs before her all the year, / Shadows of the world appear. // “I am half sick of shadows”… // She left the web, she left the loom, / She made three paces thro’ the room… // Out flew the web and floated wide; / The mirror crack’d from side to side, / “The curse is come upon me.” Alfred, Lord Tennyson, “The Lady of Shalott”
“Men say that in this midnight hour / The disembodied have power / To wander as it liketh them / By wizard oak and fairy stream… // Welcome, gentle spirits.” William Motherwell, “Midnight and Moonshine”
“There is something haunting in the light of the moon.” Joseph Conrad
“It’s said that All Hallows’ Eve is one of the nights when the veil between the worlds is thin— and whether you believe in such things or not, those roaming spirits probably believe in you…” Erin Morgenstern
“Thrice the brinded cat hath mew’d” / …”Harpier cries ‘Tis time, ’tis time” / “Round about the cauldron go; / In the poison’d entrails throw / Toad, that under cold stone / Days and nights has thirty-one / Swelter’d venom sleeping got, / Boil thou first i’ the charmed pot.” / “Double, double toil and trouble; / Fire burn and cauldron bubble” / “Fillet of fenny snake, / In the cauldron boil and bake; / Eye of newt and toe of frog / Wool of bat and tongue of dog, / Adder’s fork and blind-worm’s sting, / Lizard’s leg and owlet’s wing, / For a charm of powerful trouble / Like a hell-broth, boil and bubble” // “Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf, / Witches’ mummy, maw and gulf / of the ravin’d salt-sea shark, / Root of hemlock digg’d in the dark…” // “And now about the cauldron sing, / Live elves and fairies in a ring, / Enchanting all that you put in. // By the pricking of my thumbs, / Something wicked this way comes.” Shakespeare, Macbeth
“October, tuck tiny candy bars in my pockets and carve my smile into a thousand pumpkins…Merry October.” Rainbow Rowell
Rainbow Brite Costume Ideas
Taper Candles and Pumpkins. So Clever.
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Three Fireplace Mantels
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Pick your poison. Then add glitter.
When the Frost is on the Punkin’ (Halloween, 2010)
Image: John Everett Millais. Autumn Leaves. Oil on canvas. 1856. Manchester Art Gallery, U.K.
For how can one know color in perpetual green, and what good is warmth without cold to give it sweetness?” John Steinbeck
In honor of Autumn, October, and Halloween, I’ve been re-reading John Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley: In Search of America (1962). I usually do this because there’s something so perfectly fall-like about the first half of Part Two. “The climate changed quickly to cold and the trees burst into color, the reds and yellows you can’t believe. It isn’t only color but a glowing, as though the leaves gobbled the light of the autumn sun and then released it slowly.” And so I wanted to share this, the Millais painting, and the short list of atmospherically perfect things to dip into on a crisp October day, or better, a brisk All Hallows’ Eve.
With a nod to Indiana, James Whitcomb Riley’s “When the Frost is on the Punkin.”
For poison and pathos and the ability to stick in one’s head, “Where ha’ you been, Lord Randal, my son?” Anonymous child ballad, “Lord Randal (Randall).”
Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story, “The Birthmark.”
Alfred Noyes, “The Highwayman.” For cadence, but mostly for this: “The wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees / The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas…”
Happy Halloween. Happy Autumn.