Saturday, October 31, 2009

New Moon Trailer and Vampire Addiction

21 days! 21 days until New Moon of the Twilight series is released on the big screen.

Oh my.

What is it about these books? Damn you Stephanie Meyer for your inspiration and for creating these stories - originally meant for teenagers but so incredibly addictive I personally have read them all twice and STILL want more. At least I know I am not the only woman in my 30's who is twice the age of the intended audience yet obsessed to a point of absurdity. According to the woman at Barnes and Noble in Philadelphia who sold me New Moon last Christmas time after I DEVOURED Twilight on my flight from LAX (a birthday gift courtesy of another Twilight addict and friend) - about 75% of the people she had been selling the book to were in their late 20's through 40's.


It's not as if these are books full of steamy romance and sex - which would explain my age group hungrily devouring them. They are rather chaste, full more of suspense and mystery. So that can't be it.

Is it that it is about Vampires? I mean they are the sexiest and most seductive of the dark world mythical creatures for sure but in general society has the attention span of a toddler and fads come and go so quickly if they weren't posted on Facebook I would - and still do miss most of them. Still, America's recent obsession shows no sign of waning - in fact it appears to be growing stronger daily. The Twilight series, True Blood, The Vampire Diaries - vampires show no sign of losing their strength in popularity, - so again what IS it about Vampires?

Vampire lore, legend and various descriptions from different writers around the world is vast and contradictory. They sparkle like diamonds in the sun and don't need to sleep (my favorite - nice twist Ms. Meyer!) or they sleep in coffins and will burst into flames in the sun. One bite will either kill you or turn you, or vampires can feed off of their human companions with no inherent danger other then the bond between them growing with each feeding. They all descend from from the devil, are demons themselves or as in Bram Stokers Dracula - they are descendants of Vlad the Impaler - detailed even more in the Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. I could go on but there is only ONE theme that remains true - regardless of the storyteller.

They are immortal.

I think that is the key. It's the idea of immortality. Something not possible for sure but it IS an intoxicating and seductive fantasy. In today's day and age, we live longer, are stronger and with trainers, dietitians, cosmetic surgeons and botox - we can appear to be cheating the passage of time and trick ourselves into feeling as though we are even cheating death. Of course that is unrealistic - but I think it is the secret desire in so many to live longer, look younger, perhaps that could be what draws us to vampires. The idea, the fantasy that there is a way to live forever. Be strong, invincible - and in most cases preternaturally beautiful - and of course the sexy draw of immortality.

Maybe that's why we are addicted to Vampires these days.

I can't be sure of the reasons, but I know I sure am.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy (Pagan) New Year

I know - it's not January - but it is the day before the Pagan New Year of Halloween! One of my favorite holidays. It is a time for celebration of the dead who have gone before us, the life a new ahead of us, masks and costumes, drinks and revelry.

It is a mark of the New Year for the Pagan religion and this year, I feel more then ever it is the mark of a New Year for me. Partly to do with launching my photography business, and part due to the fact that a year ago around this time marked the end of certain things in my life. At the time I felt my world was over, and as the New Year struck this time last year I unknowingly had set upon a course of rest, reflection and exploration. What at times seemed a long - drawn out - painful year, is now showing me the reason why these things happened...and so things change yet again.

Most people mark the New Year as the changing date on the Gregorian calendar that we have followed for centuries, by making their resolutions to change themselves for better in the upcoming 365 days many of said resolutions having to do with some sort of trying to perfect the physical self.

I myself have done this countless times, and most likely will continue to do so. But THIS New Year is different for me. I wasn't even sure how - until this morning when upon waking and looking out my second story window on a crisp clear and yes COLD for southern California fall morning - I happened to see that one of the resident spiders in my garden had worked an incredibly large web - suspended so high it was eye level with me and spanning the distance I can only guesstimate at 8 or 9 feet across from the tree it was anchored on one side, to the fence far below and over on the other.

Spiders are a symbol of Halloween for sure, and they are plentiful here in Venice this time of year. The past 2 falls while living here in my beautiful gated courtyard complex, I would either wake to the grumbling sounds of my rather tall neighbor Dr. D as he would be heading out to work and run into a web that had been spun in the night, or if he went out the other direction - I would be the unwilling victim of a web getting tangled in my hair as Asher and I set out for a walk. Now I know they catch flies and bugs (better then the "as seen on tv" fly catching system I bought at Bed Bath and Beyond for a wasted $9.95 that sits empty day after day mocking me as I swat flies away) - but still I have never been a fan of spiders, webs or anything like that.

Then I saw this web. Now you will see it not perfect, it has already been damaged by the wings of the winged bugs ensnared in its sticky filaments, but what struck me enough to stare and then grab my camera was the MAGNITUDE of what this small creature of the planet had created. Something so functional yet temporary. Spiders work and work and work to spin these complex webs to create something that enables them to get what they need to survive. And all it takes is a large bug , or a human of the right size to knock it all down.

I started thinking about that. All the spiderwebs in my courtyard the past few years I have either unintentionally or intentionally destroyed, and the fact that the very next day - there would be another in its place, sometimes larger and more intricate, sometimes angled in a way that I wonder if they are trying to figure out how to make it so it will not be destroyed THIS day. Spiders don't sit around lamenting the loss of all their hard work and toil. I doubt they put their head in their (multiple) hands and say "why me" or "what do I do next". No, that is something for us humans to get mired down in, instead they get right back to work and re-build. That's it, what they built, their home, their world gets blown away - and they re-build and move on.

Amazing that after a year of questions, and searching one morning a spiderweb in my yard begins to put it all in perspective for me. Things break down, plans don't always work out but the best thing you can do for yourself is start again. Make it bigger, bolder, different, but re-build. Don't dwell on what has been lost - but look towards what can be.

The past is gone - today is full of possibilities.

Happy Pagan New Year!