Friday, October 12, 2007

Boys and girls of every age, Wouldn't you like to see something strange?

ONE need not be a chamber to be haunted,
One need not be a house;
The brain has corridors surpassing
Material place.
Far safer, of a midnight meeting
External ghost,
Than an interior confronting
That whiter host.
Far safer through an Abbey gallop,
The stones achase,
Than, moonless, one’s own self encounter
In lonesome place.
Ourself, behind ourself concealed,
Should startle most;
Assassin, hid in our apartment,
Be horror’s least.
The prudent carries a revolver,
He bolts the door,
O’erlooking a superior spectre
More near.
-Emily Dickinson

In Physics, one of the fundamental laws of nature, the law of conservation of energy, states that energy cannot be created or destroyed, only its state can be changed.
The speculation is that everything in the physical universe is made up of energy, including human consciousness. If thought is indeed a form of energy, then desire, hate, love, joy, fear, may all be sustainable, always.

Long before the science of physics came onto the scene, castles or mansions came to be called 'haunted.'
Either it seemed to the locals that former inhabitants continued to slip silently (or not so silently) down their halls, or scenes of great energy, love or hate, were said to be played out again and again within them, on the anniversaries of significant events.
Perhaps these occurrences were manifestations of the law of conservation of energy?
People can be haunted too, just as the poet suggests.

Up to any given moment in time the past can be recalled and replayed by each of us, especially on the anniversaries of significant events.
Memories silently return from the mists of forgetfulness unbidden, to glide once more down the hallways of our minds.
And so, all of us are haunted to some degree.
Being from New Orleans, death is an everyday part of our lives. The history, the famous hauntings and the simple fact that we inter our beloveds remains above ground all are constant reminders that "la Grande Mort" is always with us. This is one of the many reasons we love to celebrate in New Orleans- It's kind of thumbing our nose at the inevitable.

Have I ever seen a ghost? Absolutely. Many, many times. (I swear that the undead even hang out at certain bars on Decatur street.)
Another great thing about New Orleans is most of our friends share a deliciously ghoulish sense of humour, there's our neighbor across the street - we shall call her "Madame Peu de Joie" a former DC debutante, now working for the government- it is not uncommon for her to slip in a bit of black humour in her otherwise chic and conservative office wear in the way of a skull print scarf, spiderweb fish net hosiery or on a breezy spring day, wearing a to the knee 1950's skirt that upon closer inspection, is printed with tiny brightly coloured sugar skulls a la Day of the Dead.
Another neighbour is a professor of psychology by day and a Gothic belly dancer by night.
With this in mind, knocking on the door of that dark haunted house down on the corner to inquire of the ghost inside, Trick or Treat?, shouldn't be too unfamiliar or daunting a task.
After the door creaks open, just say, "How y'all durin?"
Now a toast to the dead or undead!

The Mourgue-arita!
Perfect for those last minute ghouls that show up unannounced and "Don't want no stinkin' candy!"
Makes 1 1/2 quarts - enough for a small legion of zombies.
12 ounces frozen limeade concentrate
(Yes, yes, I know its better to squeeze your own fruit etc.- but this is quick and easy so you can make sure your living guests are not having their brains eaten while you are slaving over a hot blender.)
12 ounces tequila - 100% agave please.
12 ounces Fresca
12 ounces Abita beer
Mix gently with a spoon.
Serve over ice -(use red food colouring to tint)- in black salt-rimmed glasses.
Do NOT put in a blender (too much carbonation!)
Garnish with sugar skull and toe tag on the stem.

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zeitgeist, particular friend, perky libertine, animated trickster, iconoclast, rabble-rouser, object of worship, provocateur, capricious damp enchantress, idiosyncratic beloved reptile, whimsical saucy booze hound, bellwether, luminary, stoic, pensive illicit paramour, aloof, engaged, intuitive, curious, perplexing deranged mastermind, passionate, lasciviously adored offspring, amorous, sultry flamboyant charioteer, scholar, scribe, exalted thespian, voracious, considerable chieftain, impaired, cynical colleague, dreamer, procrastinator, loathsome glutton, artist, oppressed peasant, dainty heathen, narcissist, self-loathing...renaissance man