Halloween and the Meaning of Life

I love when autumn begins, then soon it’s Halloween. The trees are half-green, half-yellow, and half-orange, soon throwing off the shrivelled leaves that give the crisp air that musty fall smell and the sidewalk that delightful crunchiness. The temperature is just right; like a cool summer night, but all day long.

Then comes Halloween—a bittersweet celebration of light and dark. On the one hand it’s about the things that delight us: kids, eating candy, dressing up and having a good time. On the other hand it’s about the things that scare us: horror movies, monsters, haunted houses, and ultimately, death itself. Halloween is about that grey area between happiness and sorrow that’s strangely comforting to all of us.

I’m worried that no kids will come to my door this Halloween. That I’ve become an adult living in an adult world. I wonder, though, if we’ve really matured into these responsible got-it-all together versions of our child selves, or if we’ve really just gotten bigger and now need alcohol as an excuse to express our natural childishness. Maybe adulthood is the costume we wear throughout the year.

We call it “growing up,” but really most of life is growing down, shrivelling and falling ever-closer to the permanent holiday we spend a few feet under the ground.

So maybe life is Halloween. It’s wearing adult masks to ward off the ghost of adulthood’s inevitable end. And though this appears to be a morbid thought, maybe the strange joy we gain from Halloween is the same strange joy we should revel in all year long.

This was originally posted in 2008, but I had to republish it without images because of a takedown notice, presumably by the photographer who people said such nice things about in the comments.




5 responses to “Halloween and the Meaning of Life”

  1.  Avatar

    The shot of the old house is awesome. I love that kind of photography.


  2.  Avatar

    Yeah it’s great. Be sure to click on it for more from the photographer…everything he’s done is pretty awesome.


  3.  Avatar

    Wow that richard thompson guy is awesome. I think that’s that technique where you blend the different exposures together of the same scene. I think it’s called HDRI.


  4.  Avatar

    No kids have come to my door in over 5 years. I think Halloween has been dying for years. I think because it requires effort and kids aren’t about effort anymore.


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    Tornwordo: Yeah, I love HDR when it’s done right. I tried to do it once with my regular point and shoot camera, and it didn’t turn out so well.Mundane Guru: Fuck, that’s sad.


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