It’s officially spooky season, and I’ve had the supernatural on my mind. Specifically, the spirits meant to be warded off by the traditional jack-o’-lantern.
Traditionally, these glowing gourds were actually glowing turnips and potatoes. There purpose, to frighten away unwanted spirits, demons, and other unsavory supernatural entities.
Nowadays, of course, they’ve turned into an autumn art project. The most terrifying thing about them is usually the artist’s limited knife safety skills.
Modern interpretations aside, there’s something very human about the origin of this tradition. Fear is faced by proxy. We respond to the frightening with something meant to be equally alarming.
To put it simply, we meet fear with more fear.
The thing about our fears (and jack-o’-lanterns) is that they can cast shadows. They manipulate the light and distort our reality.
Fortunately (and sometimes unfortunately), we’re the ones in control of the light. We can carve out where we want the light to come through and decide what is illuminated.
Yes, we have the power to create demons and darkness, but also to share love and light.
Be Kind. Be Brave. Stay Awkward.