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Friday Slide Show: All Souls Share This on LinkedIn   Tweet This   Forward This

5 November 2021

If Halloween is for kids, All Souls Day is for the older of us. The kids get to pretend they are whatever they want to be for a day. The older of us get to remember how once, long ago, we were just kids.

Halloween also pretends to know not everything ends after we go. Skeletons and ghosts seem somehow to suggest some of us do continue on.

But on All Souls Day we remember those who are no longer among us even as skeletons and ghosts. Whose fate is to remain merely as imperfect if crystal clear memories. They are, after all, the ones who loved us when we were kids.

We took a walk with the Olympus E-PL1 after Halloween and observed the signs of both these two special days.

If Halloween asks you what you would like to be, its magic is just for a day. But for that one day you can be anything. That's the deal.

All you have to do is dress the part.

We had enjoyed seeing the school kids arrive on the last school day before Halloween in their costumes. And, even more, we enjoyed seeing them parade, class by class, around the block before school started.

We weren't entirely sure how some of them were going to fit into their school desks. But maybe that was part of their strategy. It would be a short school day for all of them anyway.

We've observed this ritual since we moved here in 2003 and we've consequently seen a lot of costumes. This year we saw an umpire (most of us have wished to be an umpire at some point during the last baseball season) and we've been equally amused by such pedestrian fantasies as a check-out clerk at the grocery store. There are always super heroes, athletes, princesses, animals, cartoon characters and various professionals like airplane pilots, nurses, doctors, firemen and the sort. And there have been some very clever costumes like an iPod and a street light, too.

But never a photographer.

Apparently it's no one's fantasy. But it would be an easy costume. A beige vest, a tripod, some old film camera (preferably with a bellows) screwed onto the tripod, a birdie.

No one ever really likes carrying a tripod around, though.

One day, however, we suspect those costumed kids will themselves be elderly people sitting on their sofa on All Souls Day looking through some old family album, grateful some one had played the photographer after all.

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