I have been picking up conkers from the Horse Chestnuts nearby for the last month, as they fall to the ground the impact finds the seams on their outer casing and the deep brown eye peeps warmly from the pith. I pick up the conker and the remaining thirds of shell fall softly away in my hand. There is an inner glow from the freshly opened kernal and I see the wavy lines beneath the shiny surface, really blinking back at me, each one with patterns all its own, unique and softly resonant. This revelation lasts only a wee while as over a very short time in the open light and air the chestnut kernal loses its waxy feel and turns a woody and compact brown, blinded now and all internal.
I am stringing the conkers into pendants for participants at our upcoming Samhain in the Glen ritual, I have made a necklace of my own and am remembering Mum placing bore holed conkers on window sills to ward off spiders, I wonder fancifully if it is the gaseous sight of the conker that is emitted, all too powerful for the pan-optical pairs of compound arachnid eyes. Vision is not just in the eyeball. It feels appropriate to ponder these things at Samhain, this time of the thinning veil. I believe some children will enjoy wearing such a powerful totem as the dusk falls on Halloween.
On leaving Mum’s today, we have been playing word games at the table and we linger on the way to the door, at the window, halted by the shining moon, full Wednesday, now Sunday, we see she is already nearly at her first quarter, and we think about the moon together – time flies by – the quarter appears to us as a half moon disc, ebbing to new moon and soon filling once more to full, in four quarter phases, shifting her glowing disc form from whole to void and back again, counting time and suddenly it strikes me, looking at the moon in this way, she might be the origins of our concept of Zero, when the moon is there but not there, holding her place in the sky.