Holidays are a time to gather together with friends and family, to enjoy life, and to create lasting memories. With so many to celebrate, how can you not have a favorite?
For Opie and me it has always been Halloween… from the time we were children putting on costumes to go trick or treating, to present-day adult costume parties, telling scary stories, and watching old classic horror movies. Not the blood and guts movies made today, but English Hammer Films, just about anything from Roger Corman, and movies that can raise the hair on the back of your neck, give you goosebumps, and make you afraid of the dark.
The movie Ghost Story comes immediately to mind, and even earlier than that was a black and white movie called Dead of Night, about a man’s recurring dream. I first came across it in the early 70’s and it chilled me to the bone. I was so frightened, I called a friend and we watched it together on the phone! I watched it again in the late 80’s with Opie and it was just as scary.
And speaking of bones and things that go bump in the night, we’d like to introduce you to our newest Dada, the Mistress of the Garden, created especially for the 2009 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors and not for the faint of heart.
She came into being as Opie and I wondered what the Mistress of Hieronymus Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights would be like… if one existed of course!
The original triptych is in the Prado in Madrid (c.1500) and we are fortunate to have a copy as a result of a friends visit there many years ago. It’s one of our favorites and seems to be simpatico with all that is Halloween.
As we were contemplating this newest Dada, images of Witches, Vampires, Skeletons and Bats immediately sprang to mind, but something was still lacking. While She was both… She was more… She was innocence transformed and transcended. The Mother of all nightmares who devours the souls of the wicked and the bones of the damned.
But why her and why here? Did she fall from grace or was this her destiny from the beginning. Some things are meant to remain a mystery.
What we can tell you is she started out an innocent doll that somehow came apart and was put back together with old bits and pieces that oddly enough seemed to fit like a glove. Broken toys, discarded doll parts... Frankenstein’s bride personified with the delicate wings of a bat. Eternal, nocturnal, and insatiable. Empty inside, she exists only too feed, but it’s never, never enough.
Many cultures believe that Halloween or All Hallow’s Eve is the most magical night of the year. A night of ghost stories, tricks or treats, costumes, jack-o’-lanterns and séances. A metaphysical night, when the veil that separates “our world” from the “other-world” is the thinnest, and the dead walk among us. A “spirit night” … when thoughts turn to the supernatural.
It is the one night that The Mistress of the Garden is free to roam our realm. If you are pure of heart, have no fear she will not harm you, but if you are not, then beware the slight movement in the shadows, or the faint almost inaudible whispers in the wind, or a sudden chill in the air that feels as if someone just walked across your grave. It is she and she is coming. In the dark. In the night. And she will feast on your bones and bring your soul back to her garden… for all Eternity.