The stages of Halloween.
a spooky season spectacular
The weird thing about Halloween is that it changes with you. This is the kind of thing you mull over when you have a kid. You go through these weird stages-of-life retrospectives. A lot of the time, that means just remembering what it was like to be a kid yourself. Like that beautifully sad Luise Gluck quote: “We look at the world once, in childhood. The rest is memory.”
And for some things, that’s true, right? I seem to write a lot about this (without really meaning to). About how childhood is like the Toy Story clouds and how, to some extent, We’ve all been chasing those clouds ever since. But that’s a more nuanced piece. What I’m talking about here is something broader. About a point in time and how it recurs — which makes it especially charming because (obviously) the most frustrating thing about time is the briefly-here-and-forever-gone nature of it.
But we have these points, these little signposts we’ve planted in time to keep ourselves sane. Not-quite holidays like Valentine’s Day, Mardi Gras, Super Bowl Sunday, Halloween — they come around every year and, every year, they’re a little bit different. And you’re a little bit different too. But Halloween stands apart because it changes so much. And because you remember the emotion of it so clearly at each stage.
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