It’s 6:37 p.m., October 31st, Halloween. Earlier, we walked around the top of Queen Anne hill and noted all the tombstones and skulls and skeletons adorning people’s lawns, including a Mariachi band and a flock of skeletal flamingos. The crows were numerous. They turn fiendish for peanuts this time of year. I’ll frequently hear the inimitable sound of their wings passing near to my head, almost like the sound of a woman’s silk gown. What kind of world is this where death is mocked and celebrated? Well why not. What else is there to do with death? It won’t bounce like a basketball. Death is only a word. Until I die I won’t know what the fuck it truly is. I do know people disappear, and disappear for good. I’d love to see a ghost. There’d be proof, first of all, that there is, indeed, a further existence after death, though I can’t imagine how strange that would be, to have a numinous existence, a sense of self, but no body to contain it. According to Swedenborg, every person living on earth is already in contact with angels and evil spirits, even if we don’t realize it. This awareness, for lack of a better word, most often comes in the form of a stray thought or impulse disguised as our own inner voice. That’s pretty vague. I’m not sure how to deal with this information, jettison it as worthless (I won’t) or try and ponder it, persist in exploring it until it asserts enough of its own reality to hold our attention and become – in some fashion – real. Swedenborg cautions against speaking with ghosts. I mean, look at Hamlet. That didn’t go well. Swedenborg warns that some of the spirits out there are evil. You really don’t want to engage with those. He also emphasized – and this is welcome news – that the Divine is stronger than any evil influence. He also said that things in heaven are more real than things that are in the real world. Which would include, no doubt, a lawn adorned with skeletal flamingos and a mariachi band whose songs cannot be heard, except by the dead.