BOOO!!! (2017 version)

31 October 2017 – Yah yah, there’s your ghosties & goblies & long-leggedy beasties, and your pirates & witches & skeletons & spiders …

But it’s all so last-century, y’know?

Time for some here-&-now horror.

Like …

a fluorescent green Hazmat suit.

Boo!!

31 October 2015 – Look at that date, it is Halloween — an event heavily commercialized around here, and therefore one to which I am heavily resistant.

Even so, these three street scenes snuck past my defences.

Exhibit One – A family in the comfortable Beaches neighbourhood has ignored all the product in all the stores, and raided their bed-sheet supply instead.

Result? Ghosts in the best home-made tradition, dancing on their front porch.

ghosts on Silver Birch, s. of Kingston Rd.

 

I particularly like Little Baby Ghost, tucked up there in the middle.

Exhibit Two – A pumpkin, minimally & cleverly carved, thrust into a now-empty sidewalk planter outside the café Green Beanery, at Bloor & Bathurst.

streetscape at Bloor & Bathurst

Here, I particularly like the raven.

Exhibit Three – A skull, what else? Maybe painted for the occasion, not sure about that, & happy to have seen it, either way.

He looms at the corner of Cyril Lane & Borden, just north of College Street.

Cyril Ln at Borden, n. of College

No particular-like about this one — I’m pleased by the whole skull/bike/fire-escape montage.

There. That’s Hallowe’en.

 

After the Fire

2 November 2014 – After Hallowe’en as well, but I want to pay tribute.

A year ago, late October, I showed you this picture of a particularly stylish Hallowe’en display in front of one of the Victorian Cabbagetown homes on Spruce St.

Hallowe'en display, 2013

The ghost with a sleek raven a-top his head was just part of the total effect. The other part: this elegant lady, in suitably 19th-c. attire.

2013 Hallowe'en display

This year, the raven is not so sleek.

In fact, he is very much the worse for wear — more than can be explained by the dark, drizzling weather on October 31.

2014, raven & ghost

And that’s because, about a month ago, this home suffered a devastating fire.

The blaze was contained to that one home, thank goodness, but it caused havoc there, and the house is still boarded up. Nobody expected the owners — creative people, involved with musical as well as visual arts — to mount any kind of Hallowe’en display.

But they did.

2014, boards over fire-gutted windows

They painted the fire scene onto the boards over the windows, added jumping figures & a horrified black cat.

They dragged their ruined musical instruments onto the lawn, and made them part of the tableau.

2014, post-fire piano & bass

The once-elegant 19th-c. lady now presides over the ruined instruments.

2014 Hallowe'en tableau

Come close, you see what sufficient heat does to a piano keyboard.

keyboard of the fire-ruined piano

Passers-by stop as I’m taking these photos, obviously neighbours.

Like me, they admire the grace & courage of this couple; several also suggest the display is cathartic as well —  a way to confront the tragedy, and move from merely suffering its losses, to transforming those losses into additional resources for their celebration of life and community.

I think that’s probably true.

But I also saw this little side-tableau, tucked at the far end of the ruined keyboard.

the 'curl up & die' moment

For me, it reads — amid all the courage, style and resilience — as a scene of pure pain. An acknowledgment that, just for a moment, they wanted to “curl up & die.”

And then they got up, and they coped.

 

  • WALKING… & SEEING

    "Traveller, there is no path. Paths are made by walking" -- Antonio Machado (1875-1939)

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