Thursday, 29 October 2015

The gathering twilight

Fire club juggling by Oisin

I managed to get the plumbing fixed last night. The plumber came over and sorted it. He was a lot more useful than the ironically named Solv guy who came over and ran off and then told me the next day that nothing could be done. This other guy came over, in the darkness of twilight fixed the leak and then said he'd give us a quote for the boiler. Our boiler needs replaced.

I did some hoovering yesterday at my mom's place, got some food, cooked laksa and got the boys to sort out the bins - oh and did dusting. But apart from that i basically just sat and watched the Graham Norton Show, which i detest, but for some reason made me feel better. I really don't know why. It sorta began with, i think watching the Tom Hiddleston interview and then went on from there. By the time it ended, i was watching the Spiderman-2 interview and the X-men Days of Future Past interview. I have actually gone off comics and the whole superhero and Star Wars franchise completely. It was nice when it was something which people did for the love of it, but now it is all just about the money - literally just about the money. Like X-men was ok - i mean the animation, the first one, was brilliant - but then it became commercialised. To see Hugh Jackman, Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy, three great actors, now in X-men. I mean talk about the waste of talent. I love the X-men, it contains so many archetypes and i follow MARVEL Agents of Steel with the boys, but really, getting these guys to do X-men is overegging the pudding.

And what was the interview mostly about - this horrible fan art that people had created about Michael Fassbender and James McAcvoy having it off with each other. It is sort of like a microcosom of what is wrong with civilisation. 

What is wrong with people? And then there was another interview with Cameron Diaz and Kylie Minogue and Russel Crowe - again completely puerile and facile. I emerged after the session sort of feeling soiled and filthy. And not in a good way. In the way like if i had attended a superficial, meaningless corporate event which was utterly pointless and contributed not a jot to the betterment of humanity. It was opiate in the purest sense. And YET i have spent the best part of yesterday watching this shit, which says how powerful this stuff is at the same time. 

So, i am not against money - i think that money is great. There is clearly a place for it in our lives, it is a necessity, but when it become motivation rather than a tool... like food - instead of it being something which is meaningful, it becomes spectacle, it becomes a fetish, that it when i draw the line.

I went to this superfancy cafe in Singapore where there were desserts for astronomical prices - it was a complete Blumenthal experience - chocolate being melted into pools of this and that - it was very childlike - there was a wonder about it at some level, but it was mostly about status. I can spent this amount of money on food - that was what it was about, the bottom line, because as far as i am concerned, there is no need to spend soooo much of money on food in that unnecessary kind of way. 

So i have had enough of this Halloween nonsense. In a way it is once again the symbol of everything which is wrong with the way the sacred is dealt with in this culture: it is all about buying shite and not really understanding why we celebrate what we do and when we do it.

The last weekend of October is when we feel the dark rapidly gaining on us. We are a month and a bit from the autumn equinox and a month and a bit to the winter solstice. So we are halfway into the descent into the darkness. In the past this was a very sobering time. As people prepared to face winter - the hunger, the cold, the probability of the oldest not surviving - or indeed the most ill or the youngest, if they had a late summer birth - they came in touch with those who had gone, partly our of respect, partly to give themselves courage, partly to give themselves comfort, partly to give themselves hope. Those who had gone on before were invoked to help us, the spiritual world, as the light faded became more manifest as well. Just as the invisible becomes more visible by night through instinct and intuition, so too it becomes more visible at this time of the year. You feel the unseen spiritual crowding around you - the sun, as it becomes more distant in its reality, becomes ever closer in its spiritual presence. The soil begins to buzz with activity as it starts to rest... it is the most active time for the soil as it receives the forces of the cosmos into it. In the dead of winter, the 21st of December, it reaches its zenith. The invisible is working away, quietly, without our knowledge...

That is why we celebrate Halloween. A holy evening. An evening of the sacred returning to walk amongst us. Like wolves in the woods. Like rooks in the evening. Like the settling dew. Like a light lit in the window as the tide rushes back in. That is why. All this over the topness, this scaring each other - it is a pastiche, an insult to the gentleness of the rhythms of life and death - no wonder we are a mess.

Well, the sun is out. Time to get going and to get moving loads to be done today. It's already 9.20, i can't believe it. 


Gabriel Tan said...

I really think that the liturgical calendar makes sense when it is in the Northern Hemisphere. Autumn is also the season when you remember the dead - the month of November. As nature begins to die, we remember. Yet it is also harvest time and in France, autumn is also a joyful time in the wine growing regions. Yet again the Christian symbolism; the dying of the grapes for the birth of the wine.

Stephanie Sim said...

I often did wonder what the Malay stories were for they are the ones which will reflect the truth of the Earth around us. The sacrifice of death for life is one which is reflected in the wider seasonal truth in the hemispheres. Where is it most seen in the equator, or is the equator the equivalent of paradise, where nothing ever dies and there is always plenty?