Halloween is special.

It's always been my favorite day of the year. A day when the machinery of the universe breaks down, just a little bit, and there's strangeness to be found in odd nooks and crannies. A day when old rules bend and break. I'm not sure who originally said it, but I love the description of Halloween as the one day when you can be exactly who you want to be -- or you can be who you really are. Mask, or unmask: the choice is yours.

In a year fraught with loss and grief, the beloved dead aren't quite so far from us today. In a year of turbulence and anger, today brings a different flavor of chaos. Darkness that can be your companion, if you'll walk with it. Today is a day of facing fears and realizing...well, maybe there really wasn't that much to be afraid of, after all.

I always get a lot of writing done on Halloween. And even I, workaholic that I am, will be shutting the computer off at sunset to go and celebrate. Whether you're taking the kids trick-or-treating, heading out to a costume party, chilling at home with some horror movies, howling barbarous names of invocation over an ancient stone, or leaving offerings at a three-way crossroads, I hope you have a day filled with wonder, delight and illumination. Happy Halloween!