Samhain in Portland

The new Trinity on the porch, Samhain 2011.

Samhain is, for me, the most significant season of the year. It is a time when I build an ancestor altar with photographs of my beloved dead, from a well-loved grandfather who died before I was born, to a dear old cat whose long life came to a close this past winter. The faces are all there, familiar and honored.

Tonight Amy and I are attending the Dark Harvest Ballads, an event sponsored by a local group of musicians, Mistral, who specialize in Breton music. Tonight’s performance will be, according to the organizers, “an evening of spooky, cathartic songs drawn from the English tradition, exploring themes of death, struggle, and untimely departures…” We attended a previous incarnation of the event, and had a dark, splendid time. I enjoy John Fleagle and Robin Williamson’s old ballads laced with foreboding, so this is my cup of tea. It is also, to Mistral’s credit, a benefit concert for the Oregon Food Bank. Samhain blessings to Mistral for their generosity.

The elegant new Trinity (shown above on my porch) is nearly complete, lacking only a string for the loop (the bottom drone string), and an end cap. A wonderful master metalsmith is making a custom cap for it, and I’ll be sure to show photos when it arrives.

With Samhain good wishes,


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