Thursday, October 25, 2007

Especially When An October Wind

I'm loving the weather today. It finally feels like fall, and it's rainy and gray and everyone has their cozy sweaters on.

I've actually been enjoying everything lately. I went to the Brooklyn Public Library last night, and for some reason going to the library on a dark, rainy, autumnal evening made me feel like a little kid. There was something disorienting about roaming around in a part of town that I'm not used to, and I got that strange fear of getting lost that I used to have as a child. One of my great fears as a child was getting lost on the bus -- I could think of nothing more terrifying than suddenly being somewhere where I didn't know where I was.

Then today, oddly, in the way that everything seems to be subject to a great convergence lately, I found this post in I'veBeenReadingLately, another late discovery of mine. (I'm enjoying this blog immensely, probably due in large part to the vast amounts of space it's devoting to ghost stories. There are also lots of references to M.R. James, who I can't seem to get away from lately. First, in Babbo's, next in my new anthology, now on this blog, and, well, he's just generally everywhere all of a sudden. See? A vast convergence! A nexus ... or something ....)

But seriously, this whole post is all about childhood fears, and how they differ from adult fears, and also about the strange creepy vibe that kids have -- that supernatural connection which leads them to incite poltergeists to haunt their houses, and so on:

"That openness to fear lines up, too, with the position held by many who actually believe in the supernatural that children are more open to and aware of the otherworldly. They haven't yet, the argument goes, set limits on which of their perceptions they're willing to accept, which to dismiss before they even reach the level of consciousness."

Coincidence? I think not. Clearly I'm haunted. But seriously, it's the end of October, people! Spirit world colliding with our world, anyone? And don't say it doesn't happen.

I also found a great link to an auction of 19th century vampire-hunting kits (again, via I'veBeenReadingLately) that are completely insane, and also vastly amusing to me right now since I just finished reading Dracula (which I will write about shortly).

I've been feeling so overwhelmed and overstimulated these days, but in a good way. I love this time of year: finally everyone is as creepy as I am year-round. There are also creepy articles in the Times today, about nightmares and drug resistant staph infections (god I love life-threatening mystery ailments). I also love this idea:

"Ask people to recall spontaneously how many nightmares they had in the last year, and they might say one or two, said Mark Blagrove, a dream researcher at the University of Wales in Swansea. Ask them to keep a dream diary, and they will report nightmares once or twice a month."

See? We're all much scarier than we would think.

And, speaking of collusions, in the same article: "Nightmare rates climb through adolescence, peak in young adulthood, and then, like so much else in life, begin to drop."

Ha! Ha!

Finally, today's title is inspired by this poem by Dylan Thomas. I adore these first few lines:

"Especially when the October wind
With frosty fingers punishes my hair,
Caught by the crabbing sun I walk on fire ..."

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