Dear old and new friends,
To introduce our reflection for this week that celebrates Halloween on Friday, the 31st of October, I turned to E.E. Cummings ungrammatical poem about Buffalo Bill.
who used to
ride a watersmooth-silver
and break onetwothreefourfive pigeonsjustlike that
he was a handsome man
and what i want to know is
how do you like your blueeyed boy
You and I, like Buffalo Bill, have an appointment with Mister Death. He seems to be everywhere and could tap anyone of us on the shoulder and say smiling, “Excuse me.” Funerals have nothing in common with this Friday’s Halloween except for the presence of Mister Death. Halloweens are playfully cheery and fun, while funerals are sad and mournful occasions. Both Halloween and roller coasters were originally designed to scare and frighten us “to death,” but only roller coasters can still produce that first purpose of fright while Halloween Friday’s frolicking fun festival only entertains us.
Mister Death is your invisible passenger seated next to you when that roller coaster takes its sudden, lethal, breath-taking 200 foot plunge. He is invisibility seated next to you at every dangerous racecar event. We find Mister Death’s presence both thrilling and spine chillingly fearful. Our society has accomplished an amazing feat of cultural denial of death while day and night the news media plunges us into murders, school shootings, death by starvation, disease and war massacres. Perhaps we might be more conscious of Mister Death if we found him offering various ways to die in our Yellow Pages. Check your local directory for Death under several listing:
Mr. Sudden Unexpected Death Ms. Lingering Slow Death
Mr. Lonely All-Alone Death Ms. Guilt Nagging Death
Mr. Fear-Filled Death Ms. Dementia Alzheimer Death
Mr. Stroke Brain Death Ms. Physically Paralyzed Death
Mr. Angry Bitter Death Ms. Teenage Early Death
Mr. Violent Brutal Death Ms. Serene Peaceful Death
Regardless who comes calling, Death has an appointment with each of us that we hope will be cancelled…or at least postponed until a later date.