Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. Yet pumpkin carving is an art that I really should dabble in more often. It’s lots of fun, and with the right tools, not too difficult.
I picked this pumpkin at a local farm (yes there are pumpkin farms in Hawai’i). The weather was perfect, and it was fun to stroll through the rows of sunflowers, corn, green beans, and pumpkins. A friend and I each carved our own pumpkin. I was surprised at how easily the tools from the pumpkin carving kit sliced through the pumpkin – much easier than the knives I used to use growing up. It makes me want to create an even more intricate design for next year.
How did I get inspiration for an Amida Buddha pumpkin? It just popped into my head. Hardly traditional Halloween decor. But just as Jack-o-lanterns light pathways, the Buddha also illuminates a path. On this night celebrating the connection between this world and the next, it is a reminder that not everything on the other side is scary.
Welcome weary travelers, stop by for a spell,
For this be the magic night o’ Hallows’ Eve.
The ancient Europeans knew this night to be
A closing of the gap between this world and the next
So light thy way with an ol’ jack-o’lantern,
As spirits swirl, and worlds whirl together
Life and death, the cycle repeats
Twirling together as one
Hence tonight if ye want to avoid
The spirits playing a trick on ye,
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With thy favorite Halloween tradition.
As the sun set over the horizon, things at the Honolulu Museum of Art were just starting to heat up. Bus loads of museum visitors all lined up outside, everyone decked out in their Halloween finest. The costumes were many and varied, ranging from couples costumes like Aladdin and Jasmine, to Egyptian Pharaohs, superheroes, magical witches, zombies,
Aromas from appetizing foods wafted through the halls, and music blared from the live performances. Despite the entrance line going down the block, once inside the museum didn’t seem overly crowded. Besides, it was easy enough to duck into one of the exhibit halls for a little peace and serenity – as well as for stunning works of art spanning millennia from all over the world. There is something fun about walking amongst ancient statues as Captain Hook meanders around nearby. Each person in costume is their own work of art, and events like this are a chance to enjoy the living art as well as the paintings on the wall.