Hallowe’en – Time Of The Dead

Always, we have an existence around us that is material.  Some of it is alive or living, that is, there is or has been growth, development and so forth.  One day the alive stops living.  The things that supported that life are for some reason gone.  It’s individual but it can be for masses of people or other beings all at the same time.  The things that supported all life with the tilt of the earth are nearly at their low point or gone for a while.  The world has done it’s shifting so that the growing season(s) of the world in the Northlands has waned and the dying time is at hand. 

November is the time of the dead, and at the moment it is “All Hallows Eve,” the evening of the start of November.  It may be proper to think of the hallowed or sainted ones when thinking of all that is dead – it’s a positive, hopeful thought amid a depressing view – but there is more to think of than those.  Those are noted and usually considered for honor.  They are so considered because their works were worthwhile.  There are those whose works were not so great, just maybe ordinary or what was expected.  Their works are noticed by no one.  It’s as if they never existed.  

The better day is the day of all souls.  That includes everyone and everything of the once alive, including the sainted ones as well as some obscure mouse in the field.  The saints are remember without help, and the mice can’t be remembered exactly because they weren’t known by those remembering.  But, the rest, the ones whose works are noticed by no one, are then acknowledged.  Those, too, played a part in all that is.  Without them the world would be less than it is. One can even make it a point to think of recalling one who had a hand in something, like he who built the building at hand. 

A pause in everyday life is good. 

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Unexpected Thoughtfulness

Genuinely friendly thoughts are often welcome at the old folks’ home.  That can be just about any cheery thing of a minor nature – a small friendly greeting card at an odd time, a considerate pause at the elevator, an extra dollop of topping on ice cream, etc., as long as it’s unexpected.  Such things are also appreciated outside of and before life at the old folks’ home; but, in the “retirement world” life has often reached a state of just existence for many.  People don’t expect to achieve anything else in this world, although remote ideas like winning a lottery exist.  There’s little to be expected.   

That came to mind abundantly today for yours truly when an unexpected wish for a happy Hallowe’en arrived.  It isn’t as if the holiday is celebrated for some special reason or any such thing as it isn’t.  It’s just a friendly, thoughtful note of value for it’s friendliness more than anything else.  The person is fairly distant in mileage and hasn’t been seen in person for some time.  Being unexpectedly remembered even if it is an organized thing is uplifting even if all is well enough around.  A gift is a gift.  Personal plans for a little remembrance were already in mind for Thanksgiving and Christmas. 

Some of the people in the apartment building underfoot will be involved in the party that is on the agenda.  Some of the people will surely have contact with some family members, if for no other reason then because it is a weekend and there’s time off from work.  Some people will be occupied by necessary chores, such as those emptying out an apartment down the hall for whatever reason the lady that was in it is not coming back.  And, some of the people are killing a day (again) half wondering if there is something else they might be doing.  A considerate thought there could change the world. 

Nice surprises can be fun. 

Pssst! October Was A Short Month

The month is finished…done.  There are two more days on the calendar, but the month is over for all practical purposes as the business week ended today, the 29th.  It’s kind of like February, whereas this is most often one of those months that seem to stay on forever.  The only month with thirty-one days that doesn’t seem to stay on forever is December.  Consider the rest, July and August for a start.  It’s common to wonder if the heat will ever end.  And, in January it’s just as common to wonder when the cold will end.  March and May, like October are not too nasty, especially May. 

At any rate, there are people who are still plodding along in October, and they will do so until the real end of the month; but, for a good many folks the month has ended but the new one won’t start for a couple of days.  Hallowe’en time is a sort of dead time this year.  The upcoming “fifth weekend” (started already as it’s Friday night as this is being written) is a real special weekend, almost like the extra day in a leap year.  And, the whole business threw a lot of things just a little out of line.  Although it’s not known how often the current line-up on the calendar happens, it’s supposedly rare. 

People with parties (and children) on the mind may be happy to have ordinary living out of the way; but, not everyone is going to a party.  Not everyone has children, either.  The old folks’ home underfoot seemingly has an event started for one day or the other, but yours truly has no thought of going.  While it may be something that a lot of people think is fun (at least the pretend part), it’s a lot of bother and there’s no social obligation to be participating.  Another time, another place things were different. And, there wasn’t much going then, either, as the play acting is fun but it has no depth or duration. 

Days get lost in many ways. 

An Important Thing: Eats

Food can be a very big thing with the old folks at the old folks’ home retirement community.  There is first of all the matter of getting it.  Then there is often (not always) the matter of getting it into a state where it can be eaten.  Lastly there is the matter of eating it.  There are tangent elements to all of that.  In regard to eating it, for example, there is the matter of dishes. In regard to getting it, as further example, there is the matter of is there enough cash on hand presently to be getting anything much; and, that’s because things like the social security retirement checks (or deposits) come once a month. 

Taking just the matter of the money, some months have at least one more day than other months; but, even more important is the due day (not date, but day) as – say – the third of the month may be any day of the week.  One can choose a shopping day, like Tuesday.  If the due day is Monday,  it’s easy to shop any day of that week for a week’s supply of stuff.  Friday deposits, meanwhile don’t cover the week that includes the third of the month if the established shopping day is Tuesday.  That week’s groceries have to come from the previous month’s income.  Tight budgets are a hassle. 

All of the above (including that with little attention such as what the false teeth, if any, can handle) is basic.  In addition, many people have dietary restrictions that not only limit choices but also how the whatever is prepared (or maybe it should be said “not prepared”).  There’s no just going somewhere and stuffing anything available into oneself.  If youth was based partly on eating habits like chewing on a sandwich from a handy restaurant while in the car (yours truly’s was), the enforced to-do about eating is probably maddening.  And, it’s a sure thing nature will demand attention to it. 

Food is a constant. 

Bed Bugs Need Big Attention

Deep in the news it says “they” found bed bugs in the United Nations.  It’s not surprising, of course, since there are a number of public places in New York City as well as elsewhere in the United States where bed bugs have been found.  It would be surprising if someone could guarantee they are not and will not be at such and such a place.  If they are at the United Nations, however, some folks not inclined to pay attention might start paying attention.  It might become just a little embarrassing for the United States.  It’s likely embarrassing for many of the places where they have been found. 

Whatever else bed bugs have done and might do, they are interrupting lives a lot, rather on an individual basis.  One must stop whatever one is doing to deal with the matter.  And, the stop is not just a brief thing.  Dealing with the matter is a prospect that is long term, expensive, complicated and above all secretive, so to the detriment of others around.  Even if it were not all of that, there is the element of responsibility.  No one wants the responsibility for something bad or even otherwise unwanted.  The social impact has already begun, and there are victims aplenty who will never recover. 

Anyone who really looks into the problem is going to find a considerable amount of confusion, mis-information, hysteria and even downright idiocy.  To make the bad situation worse, some have decided it’s good material for jokes.  In reality, it’s a secondary health hazard.  Some bites from the creatures are not known to do anything like kill someone.  The thing is, if there are any around, it’s near to impossible to get away from them.  They’re small and obscure, and out to find a human host.  The “problem” is not going to be solved within the lifetime of many people.  They’re not like other bugs. 

One must be ready for change. 

Days Ahead

Upcoming events include several key – shall we say – “activities” in the United States.  A few of them are also noted at least in parts of the rest of the world in some form. They all and some more personal things are all crammed together in about sixty-five calendar days with a reputation in the northlands of being cold, dark and possibly hazardous if nothing else.  And, each one of those “activities” may have particular individual aspects to note.  Many, if not all of them, can and do have pivotal qualities in that as a result of them life for all will be re-directed at least marginally.  The path of life changes. 

So, what all is really under discussion?  The “big” days that much of the society around is likely to note include All Hallows’ Eve (Hallowe’en) especially if there are children in the picture and maybe even All Hallows’ Day (All Saints’ Day), the point of it, as a start.  There are also the Time Changing Day and Election Day to name two that are really pivotal for everyone.  Veterans’ Day seems obscure at times; but, veterans groups are powerful.  There are usually two days each (at times more) of Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.  There is also the winter solstice. 

The above is twelve out of the sixty-five.  In addition to that, some people have the likes of birthdays and anniversaries.  Some people have days that interest them in addition to those, two of which are St. Nicholas Day (December 6) and the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (it is fitting and proper to acknowledge “Our Lady” in there somewhere).  Now, every one of those days may include a limited interest extra special event such as a “big production” football game in a sense created for the time.  Every one of the events, including the tangents and addenda, clamor for attention because they are important. 

There’s more than war that interrupts peace.    

Professionalism?

There’s a sharp edge to the professional.  It is a fineness that doesn’t exist in a thing that is just ”very good.”  The classic example is probably the differences in something like a good singing voice and a good singing voice that has received some training.  The former is common in things like church choirs. The voices are there, and they hit all the notes in a melody; but, a scientific (or mathematically precise) sharpness is missing.  It’s an exact thinking thing that puts the “gift” in an exact place or in an exact way.  The quality is there in both cases; but, there is a refinement that is missing in the non-professional. 

Some cartoon drawings on display recently were a case in point.  The man who drew them could draw, that is, they were definitely artistic, but something was missing.  Very good, clever representations were insufficient.  It was eventually realized there was no message.  The local hometown newspaper has long used the work of an editorial cartoonist that can draw well enough to depict things a person can identify; but, his drawings are almost childish.  He is, however, one who has won prizes, and the reason he is good is because what he draws is an image of an attitude.  The thinking is there in abundance. 

It takes a lot of practice and a lot of experience (both) to establish that refined quality.  The practice isn’t enough.  Observation of the fitness is useful.  Mostly, the whatever has to be good enough for use in life. In artistic things that goes beyond feeling or mood.  In fact, it’s controlled use of a feeling or mood to make items that can literally be used with a “certain something about them.”  There is not a serious expectation here to have anything but “good enough.”  It’s a few words that may say something relative to the realities of everyday life for some people that might be around. 

We learn from others.