Quote of the day...er...week...umm...hey, look, a quote!!

"...besides love, independence of thought is the greatest gift an adult can give a child." - Bryce Courtenay, The Power of One

For old quotes, look here.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Oh, But I DO Know Jack

Jack o' Lantern, that is.

This morning I'm at Mum's without child, husband, or felines - they are left at home to fend for themselves for three days while I hang out with Mum, go photograph some old graves, seek out and purchase several million one or two gallons of the finest fresh pressed cider to be had in North Georgia, and buy pumpkins. I was afraid there would be no pumpkin purchasing, given the economy and our uncertain financial state, but Mum has declared that we shall have them...and one doesn't argue with Mum. In a perfect world, we will manage enough to line the steps and (not too long) driveway come Halloween. I love to toast the seeds and hoard them share their roasty goodness with friends.

I love to carve faces into pumpkins. All kinds of faces. And occasional abstract designs.

I like to make luminarias out of tiny little decorative pumpkins. I'd like to one day purchase a gigantic one , hollow it, carefully carve the very surface, fill it with water, and float candles in it.

I don't have a single unhappy memory about carving a pumpkin, and considering my remarkable ability to recall every nasty thing I ever experienced or saw someone else experience, that's saying something.

I often wonder if people know why (besides fun!) they are carving faces into the vegetation.

Read on if you'd like to know!

It wasn't pumpkins, at first. It was turnips. Yep. People would find great big ones to hollow out and place a little candle-end into, or some tallow and a bit of wicking. They used them as lanterns to shed a tiny bit of light on the path when they walked from their homes to...well, never mind that bit - it's all tangled up in a history of paganism that is way too long for this entry. The faces were added later as a way to frighten away evil spirits ( the thought being that evil spirits are too stupid to recognize turnip flambe) and eventually to scare gullible yokels away from private ceremonies.

So I carve pumpkins to honor the tradition, and to keep bad juju away (it's exhausting be hated for who I worship instead of for the perfectly valid reasons I give people every day), and because dang, it's fun (and the only sculpture most people are comfortable with trying, because the worse it looks the better), and to let the neighborhood know there's tons of candy right this way...and because I think I need pumpkin seeds to live. Yep. I bet I do...

Why do you do it?


Susan said...

I actually don't do it because I can't be trusted with knives or other sharp objects. But I love that you do it. Have a wonderful weekend with your mum!

Kyddryn said...

Aww, Susan...there's always paint, or markers! Or give the knife to a five-year-old - hours of fun for all, and you'd be amazed what you can sticth up with some embroidery floss and a judicious application of whiskey. I am already having a fine time, listening to the chimes and watching the trees shake off the rain.