This time of year, they say the veil is thin.
The intangible boundary that keeps the ghouls, the spirits, the restless dead from interfering with the living grows porous. Gaps form, huge rents are torn in it. The Wild Hunt rides, scooping up the dying and taking them away, to wherever bodiless spirits go.
The Day of the Dead. All Saints Day. All Hallow's Eve.
It's all about death.
Which is what we're fundamentally afraid of, isn't it?
Oh, we can talk about fear of success, of intimacy, of failure, of people not liking us. But those are all the little fears. The things that we struggle to overcome. But, no matter what we do, we all must face that we will die. It's the big Fear. No one knows for sure what happens after. All we know is that our precious mortal flesh eventually wears out and we're forced to leave it behind.
It's almost impossible to grasp, that this must happen to us, to those we love. So, we grapple with aspects of it. We wrestle with aging. We tease ourselves with stories of monsters and serial killers. Over and over, we grab the idea of death in a choke-hold and try to make it be something else.
What else can we do, after all?
We can't defeat death, so we play with it. Dance the skeletons and fly the creatures whose streaming gauze reminds us of tattered flesh. Revel in the gruesomeness of it all. Death might take us, but it doesn't have to crush us.
Embrace the fear and fling it back.
Laugh. Laugh in the face of death.
Dance with the dead, for they are us.