My friend Michael has built a 30 foot tall wicker man for a ritual bonfire on Samhain next Saturday night, at a secret location outside Saratoga. (The "mh" is pronounced as a "w" -- don't ask me why they don't use a "w." These are Celts, people. Celts. Enough said. ) We've just had a few inches of rain and the ground is all mud, so Mike has held off bringing in the crane to hoist the man upright. In the good old days of pre-Anglo-Saxon Britain this wicker fellow would be built large enough to hold hostages -- preferably Roman hostages -- as bonfire sacrifices. Evidently we haven't been succesful at rounding up hostages, so attendees of the bonfire are encouraged to bring other ritual offerings, specifically, symbols of our attachments. (How 21st Century, to turn a Druidic rite into therapy.)
Happily (or unhappily, as the case may be) I am saved the soul-searching required for this particular event, as I will be out of town. I will actually be in no town at all, en route from Chicago to New York City on a book tour. I will be in the in-between.
I will, however, be requesting a window seat, keeping watch for the sparkle and glint of bonfire on the horizon from 25,000 feet. Burn, wicker man, burn.
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