Every year to All Hallows Eve, as pick me up after the draining spell weaves Butter, flour, sugar, lots and lots of cocoa A pinch of chilli to make your cheeks glow A drop of potion to awaken your magic A smidge of myth to feed your mystic
That’s all the ingredients you get to know The rest is hidden in witchcraft shadow If you ever reach beyond the veil You might understand the finer details Of how Granny delicious healing yumminess makes When she her famous soul cakes bakes
Abby wouldn’t have thought so when she was alive. But now she knew. She was still as afraid of the dark as she’d always been. She hated waking up in the pitch dark mausoleum. Even though, now she could see in the dark. See her relatives stretching and waking. Hear old great great granny grumbling about her coffin being too small.
She’d been a precocious child and now she was a precocious ghost. Thoughtful and worried about doing things just right. But how are you supposed to haunt someone properly when you are afraid of your own boo’s?
Tonight the full moon shone bright in the crisp autumn sky. An abundance of stars twinkled. Making it seem like the ghosts were wearing sparkling costumes.
Old great great granny patted her on the head.
“Come now. Time for your lessons. You’ll have to learn the lore of the thirteen days leading up to All Hallows Eve.”
I’m a little late sharing this year’s Samhain writing prompts but after the fun of last year I thought it was a chance I couldn’t pass up. (For those interested, you can find last year’s prompts here).
So, without further ado, here are the 13 prompts for 2021, with the first prompt beginning tomorrow, 20th October, and the last prompt, Day 13, falling on November 1st:
If you do decide to join in, I hope you have lots and lots of fun. Write whatever you wish, as long as it is inspired by that day’s prompt. Here’s a little graphic / badge for anyone who wants it:
For last year’s challenge, I wrote a tanka in response to each prompt. For this year…I’m still undecided as to what I will write. We shall have to wait and see what tomorrow brings :-D
As I’m sure you’ve noticed in my writing I’ve had a rough couple of weeks. So this post is way late…
Most years, autumn, approaching first snow and All Saints Day makes me somewhat melancholic, seeking solitude and time for thinking. Usually it feels like a good time to sum up a year and look ahead. Before the darkness of midwinter.
This year I had that. And a whopping bottom-of-the-well depression to cope with. I expected it to feel darker than usual.
Then I fell into a strange black hole of the Swedish mental healthcare system.
First the primary care psychologist got a common cold and where away from work a few days, and then just happened to forget the referral they where supposed to send about me. (And a shitload of other work I’m sure.)
For five weeks. It where only discovered I tried to find out the hold-up. Since they swore there would be maximum a months waiting time.
Of course they apologized profusely. But that don’t get me ahead of the cue. And honestly you can’t tell a process speciallist like me that figuring out that a staff member can have sick days is hard. Or that if the staffer is a speciallist, the boss have to see to it that no patients gets lost. It’s not just good business practice. It’s common sense. They had no good answers to that, but I know the answer. The healthcare system is one of the systems where most money ends up in mysterious black holes, not put to the best possible use, or run in the best possible way.
And the real reason probably is that the poor psychologist is on the verge of being overworked. I saw the signs clearly… Another effect of a broke system.
Then it just got weird. The referral was sent and an appointment booked. Then my medical journal, available online, contained a new entry that is not about me! Which can’t possibly follow any of our new stricter data sharing laws. Also, just to add some confusion, a second appointment letter showed up! Still waiting to hear why, if I should go to both, or if one is another error.
Feeling really low on confidence on actually getting help trough the system instead of digging a hole in my finances by going the private route.
So October has felt like hanging on for dear life. Even getting myself to dance class has been a struggle. Writing has been even more of a struggle. Yes, writing is an outlet. But the things I’ve let out has totally drained me.
The silver lining, is the good pieces of poetry my pouring out of feeling, in the form of words on paper, has yielded.
Which is precisely what being on a journey of self is all about. Enlightenment and understanding of oneself and others. Changes and new beginnings fueled by insights and accepted, previously denied, truths.
This winter, when the world awaits the birth of Christ, she’ll be six. All she knows is a loving father and a remote and unstable mother. Also the trio is awaiting the another family member, a baby brother.
Then one day, near All Saints Day, everything shifts. Fathers gone, first in the hospital. Everyone keeps a good face. The girl is not allowed to visit. Then…
Mother screams and cries. Fathers gone, inexplicably gone. The girl searches everywhere, to no avail.
She tries to comfort her mother with her favorite teddy. – We shan’t cry anymore, mother says. So the girl doesn’t. Instead she helps pack boxes and haul their life away. Mother keeps crying.
– You have to take care of your mother and coming baby brother, the Aunts say. So the girl does. Mother keeps her face on during the day. But at night she cries.
The baby cries to, but the girl learns how to mix formula and bounce a baby.
You have to be a big girl now, everyone says. So the girl figures out how; bills are paid, pension stretched beyond belief, food cooked, clothes cleaned, diapers changed, house cleaned, toddlers watched over.
Mother still keeps her face on, but nobody’s home. At night she cries, drink gin and tonic.
-Don’t tell anyone about this or they’ll take your brother away from us, her mother says. So the girl keeps her mouth shut.
She’s barely eight, with the responsibility for a whole family on her shoulders.
When the leaves fall. Sorrow descends. As light trickles out of the world. Grief reappear.
The grass is still green, but crackles with hoarfrost as I walk over it. Through the trees I see dark shapes moving, huddling together for comfort. Candles flickering. Wreaths of offering and reminiscence.
The world smells like death and decay, rot and mold. The fiery colours of autumn turning into every shade of earth and bones. This is the barrenness of harvest or pestilence. We only reap what we sow.
My soul heavy with love for lost ones. My heart grateful for life, love. My mind full of memories. My feet heavy with the burden of death.
I kneel in the groove of remembrance. Steady my heart. Breath in. Hold all that love, life, laugh in my hands. Light the candle. Send all that energy out into the universe.
As I sat contemplating the writing prompt and the beautiful, suggestive artwork, the lyrics of one of my favorite songs started to run trough my mind. So I thought I’d share my inspiration, and my LOVE for this song.