Halloween Card: Flickering

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October 29, 2016 by Julia

Halloween can be a stressful time, I’m not gonna lie. My kids like to change their costumes at the last minute, or refuse advice about how to make it better, and we get locked into silly battles that I eventually realize I need to back out of, because…who cares?!? They can look how they want to look. That’s one of the major points of Halloween. If no one can tell that they’re even wearing a costume, because they prefer it to be so subtle you can’t even see it in the dark, so be it. I slap myself upside the forehead and move on, or try to.

Usually, for me, the stress melts away the moment we step out on Halloween after dark to go trick-or-treating. The lovely liberation of it gets to me every time. It feels so old-school communal to simply walk out and greet neighbors, brushing shoulders with fairies, skeletons and superheroes. It’s a communal acknowledgment of the darkness. We glow just enough to flicker back and forth with the shadows but not banish them completely. We welcome the creepiness and mystery and haunts. Sometimes, we howl at the moon, like my daughter’s good friend, and no one says anything about it. It’s fantastic.

To the Bone
One against the other across
the fleetingly infinite field:
that dry crackling of pallid
corn stalks clacking comes close to it.
behind them mountains range like steppes
between the tiers of fog they coddle.
it’s autumn coming close
again and you need to compare
this one to autumns past, recall the other
sputters of color too good to last.
something you need to say, something
you come close to:
wind in its limitless visits—
especially in fall when it cleans
the overblown trees—
wind in possession of you
says it best. but you go on anyway,
trying to pen the breeze:
this fall phenomenon different
from summer’s in its macabre
celebration of the lifeless,
in its forever rewritten memory
of what comes next. sorrel
leaves swirling in a whirlwind
mimic your own compulsive
repetition, its own circle
of yearning so close
to a kind of comfort.
quickening conversations
of geese flocking south
chill through your thin skin:
behind it a choir of silence
undefined rows you
closer to what you’ll never forget,
what you almost remember
this time. closer to its name.
the heart overtaken. the bare staves
waving at boughs’ ends, the musical
red wings: something
they almost say, more like a sense
hunched in darkness, an ache,
a suspicion: every time,
closer to it, closer. hear
hard light on the hillside
flatten the visible scale
into two dimensions, and you’re in love
with the flatted third:
the way it breaks you down,
over and over, to mean you are
alive. the way you rub it in
the wound that you never
come close to wanting to close—
as if you could scrub away the whirling
of everything else and come down
like snow to the center, the eye, so close
to the purity of knowing inside this
present pain, that searing
white place without wind or words.


Alexandra Dvornikova:

By Alexandra Dvornikova, found on Instagram

stephenmackey: Coven Of One 'Oil on Wood, Eighteen by Twenty Four Inches' stephenmackey.com / ingofincke.com:

Nonchalant by Stephen Mackey


Song by Kate Nash, video by Tie Die Partaaay on YouTube:



Thorn Rose, illus. Errol le Cain:

Thorn Rose by Errol le Cain



I created this short narrative a couple months ago, but I finally feel ready to share it with you. Despite its length, making this was a laborious process and took me quite some time to put together.(media: charcoal, graphite and digital) This story...

Bernadette the Brave by Audrey Benjaminsen

From Audrey Benjaminsen on Tumblr:

I created this short  narrative a couple months ago, but I finally feel ready to share it with you. Despite its length, making this was a laborious process and took me quite some time to put together.

(media: charcoal, graphite and digital)

This story is personal to me, but you can interpret it whatever way you please. 

 Bernadette the Brave

Bernadette gets lost and scared in a crowd when life is too much. She imagines that the swarms of people around are a forest of trees to cope.

As she walks through the imagined trees, she sees they all have unique faces like the people in the crowd.

Bernadette comes across one in particular with a doorknob. It beacons to her with a golden light. She opens the face and climbs inside.

There she finds a golden world. 

This world is wonderous, as if it was made just for Bernadette. It is a place of serenity, safety curiosity, and beauty. 

However, back in the forest of faces, danger awaits. Another has found his way into Bernadette’s mind. The danger wields an axe and finds the tree with the golden world. 

As he takes his axe to Bernadette’s tree, everything within her world splits, including her body. But from her body comes the source of the golden light. Bernadette holds the power to fight back.

This is your world. You may be small, and It’s okay to be afraid.  But know that when fear is crippling and invades your heart, you hold the ultimate power to fight back and conquer. 

Audrey Benjaminsen 2014





I won’t pretend to be one of those people who love Halloween more than any other holiday. But I can see the mischevious beauty in it. This is my attempt to remember and embrace my favorite parts, to be a kid again about it. Happy Howling, Happy Flickering, and piles of miscellaneous candy to you!


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