Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween Brings Out the Creative Spirit in Boys and Ghouls of All Ages

When I was a kid I can't ever recall buying Halloween costumes. Using the raw materials at hand and that magic ingredient "Imagination" I became a whole variety of characters, from Pinochio (with a home-made paper mache head) to Kal-tiki the Immortal Monster (a.k.a. The Blob) for which I actually won a best costume award. (Mom dyed two sheets grey and I rolled around on the floor, which was quite exhausting when the parade circled the room for judging.)

Both my parents were especially creative at Halloween. One year our whole family went to a Halloween party as the characters from the Wizard of Oz, Mom being Dorothy and Dad decked out as the Tin Man, wearing a customized silver-painted cardboard 55-gallon drum for a torso (arm holes cut out for silver arms and silver gloves, silver pants and shoes and all the rest.

This has to be why Halloween is one of our most popular seasons. It gives people a legitimate excuse for creative self-expression. In other words, everyone gets to become an artist for a day. And a character.

Not that everyone suddenly becomes Bob Ross or Pablo Picasso. Rather, people get a thrill by using their imaginations to become fauns, lions, ghosts, ghouls or trees. (Costume idea: if you did want to be an artist, you can dye your hair red and cut off your ear and call yourself Van Gogh.)

Part of this blog entry was stimulated by noticing all the Halloween-themed events that are happening this week. There's the Haunted Halls at UMD from 5-7 tonight in Ianni Hall; Bike Grave II: Apocalypse at the Bike Cave Collective; three days of Halloween Havoc at Tycoons; a performance of Dracula in Washburn; Haunted Happenings: Legend of Hawthorne Manor at the Harrison Community Center; Crafty Ellen's Spooky Booty Dance Party at the Red Star Lounge; a Haunted Shack & Hay Ride at the Buffalo House.

Then there's the Remembering the Dead gathering, with massive robed puppets (kudos to Mary Plaster) and an assortment of moody goings-on including a Funeral March for Rotten Ideas, plus music, poetry and more. This event is from 6-8 p.m. Saturday in the Depot’s Great Hall and the Library pavilion before moving to the Sacred Heart Music Center, 201 W. Fourth Street.

If you're not in the mood to dress up yourself, you might simply want to dress up some of the pictures in your office or living room. That's what my daughter did with my print called Don't Look Back (top of page here.)

Meantime... Whatever you decide to do, do it with all your heart and have fun.


maryplaster said...

The name of the event Nov. 2nd (now into its 6th year) at the Depot is Duluth All Souls Night.

ENNYMAN said...

Thank you for the correction!