Spooky Things

Anne’s Sentence book from Jamie Fingal’s Book Sentence Challenge.

One of the things I have always loved to do is to enter challenges if I can understand them. This little piece is 8-1/2 x 11, and I had a lot of fun doing it. The challenge was to pick up a book, go to a certain page, and pick a sentence somewhere down on that page and use it as the theme for a quilt. The sad thing is that I have no clue which book I used anymore. It was years ago, when we had a lot of challenges. But fear not; I have other challenges we did that are a lot of fun too.

This quilt is a collage quilt; I cut the images from different places, and then held them in place with bridal tulle netting. Collage is probably my favorite technique for my quilts, though I also enjoy painting on then. I think I printed the lettering with the computer on cloth that I had specially treated to hold the ink.

This quilt seemed to have a good story and it seemed spooky as well. It might have been made around October, but I honestly don’t remember. I don’t like competition, not that I can’t do it; I just don’t like it because it seems to me to put us all in competition with each other, and I guess some people like that, but I like to enter personal challenges where we are challenging ourselves and not anyone else. There are no “bests” in challenges.

If you find it difficult to enter some sort of event where there is competition, you might try just pretending you are doing a challenge, and so you are challenging yourself to do that thing you want to do.

I am enjoying this particular Halloween season more than any I can remember for a long time. For one thing, I have never seen so many homes really decked out with tons of skeletons doing all sorts of fun things, or humorous decor such as a sleigh pulled by spiders! And the stores are filled with goodies to create your own story at your home, and costumes even for the pets everywhere.

I’ve read some great poems and prose and some very short stories for the season, all of them good. I hope that all of you who celebrate the season in whatever form, are all happy and enjoying it. Winter will be here soon enough.

Summoning Forth the Boogeyman

 

Boobalala

The Boogeyman is something I think most of us can relate to.  At some point in our childlife, something bit us in the bum, or some other crazy thing like that, and we would get up and start looking under our beds, in the closet, and any other potential place where the Boogeyman might be hiding before we could go to sleep.  Oh, the fear, the tingling, creepy fear.  And yet, night after night, we would go through this ritual before drifting off to sleep.  Was he there?  (Notice that the Boogeyman was always a “he” whether you were a girl or a boy.) And if he was there, what on earth would help us to protect ourselves, or to make him go away? In the end result, it wasn’t about any of this.  It was just about making sure he wasn’t there.  There were probably as many, if not more, nights when we didn’t think about the Boogeyman.  We would climb into our beds, pull the covers up, and drift off to sleep without a worry in the world.

Perhaps the Boogeyman was our way of empowering ourselves over things which we had little or no control.  We were the ones who summoned the Boogeyman, and we were the ones who assured ourselves that he was not going to hurt us. And each time we grew more confident until one day we went to sleep, knowing that the boogeyman was not going to ever hurt us.

Interestingly, in our adult lives, although we had stopped summoning our Boogeymen, instead we began to summon forth our inner demons.  Little by little we called for the Boogeymen to view our accomplishments in life, our creativity, telling us how lame or how otherwise terrible it was. We subject ourselves to endless fears and insecurities about what we so until I honestly think a visit from the Boogeyman would be a welcome relief.

We no longer put our Boogeymen to bed, but keep them out so that we can summon them any time of the day or night. They no longer have to hide under our beds or in our closets. They can appear in full daylight and their power over us is more terrifying than any Boogeyman we ever envisioned. The boogieman was all alone. We could dispatch him pretty quickly and go to sleep feeling as though everything was right in the world. But the demons summon more and more friends until we are absolutely overwhelmed, and there is absolutely no dismissing them. They are fearful even when we are very familiar with them.

Is it any wonder we get depressed when the boogieman no longer is confined to just beneath the bed and in the closet, but fills our everywhere and with not just one, but many demons? And the worst thing is that the demons are difficult to fight because they are so shapeless and nameless. “:He who shall not be named . . .” comes to mind directly from the Harry Potter stories.

Lombada Zombie Man

Try to remember how you put your boogieman away eventually because you outgrew him. You no longer needed him to empower you. Perhaps the demons are there too so that we can empower ourselves once again as adults who are creative and productive. We really know how to do it. Sometimes we just have to remember. And we have to be willing, like Harry Potter and his friends, to do battle with them. As my friend Spencer used to always say to me, “Good night, sleep tight. Wake up bright in the morning light and do what’s right with all your might.” Sometimes we might not have a lot of might to fight with, but we need to remember most of all not to give up in the presence of the demons. They may seem more powerful than we are, but we have something they don’t on our sides, and that is our enduring faith that something we are doing is right, and something they are doing is very, very wrong. They will never be as powerful as us because they cannot be named, and we have been named. Without a name, you are nothing but a shapeless form without meaning, so whatever meaning those demons have is meaning we are choosing to give them.

For those of you who are fighting your inner demons, I hope that you will not only begin to see the demons for what they are, but to realize that you can dismiss them just as you called them forth. You might even want to make some art of all the demons that haunt your creativity as I have done with mine. Sometimes giving them an actual persona can show you just how silly they really are and when you hang them where you can see them, you can deal with them more easily.

The little demons on this page are Boobalala and Zombie Lombada Man, some of my own little artsy demons. Boobalala was made by painting part of my anatomy and then pressing it to cloth in one of those primitive women’s ceremonial experiments artists sometimes do.  He is actually the last remnant of another piece I created.