I, for one, do not enjoy Halloween. Quite simply, I find life scary enough without the introduction of fake blood, plastic skeletons and children dressed up as Satan knocking on my door asking me for wrapped candy. I am not a scrooge, mind you. I think it’s fine that other people enjoy the rituals of Halloween. I, myself, just do not.
Deep down, I’m a timid man and I prefer not to disturb my nervous system any more than necessary. “Then why do you run an animation studio in the U.S. which has no tax breaks, no subsidies, and is eligible for no co-production treaty on earth? That sounds way scarier than Halloween.”
Oh, believe me, it is. And here’s my answer. Because, sadly, I have but one talent in this life: I know how to make preschool shows. So, each year, I put aside my fear of rejection, my fear of the unknown, and my fear of airplanes, and I go around the world knocking on strange doors saying, “Trick or treat, have you got $7 million dollars to help me make my characters talk and move?”
Mostly people say “no.” But sometimes they say “yes.”
“Well, that sounds like a difficult way to live.”
Oh, rest assured, it is. And it requires pretty much all of my faith, creativity and courage to make it through each day. So I try to avoid other scary stuff as much as possible, including drugs, bears, motorcycles, untruths, marriage and, as we have already discussed, Halloween. I realize this makes me just about the dullest person in New York but, so be it. I cherish my perfectly mundane life.
On Halloween (or any other day of the year), I don’t think it matters too much what you dress up as, who you scare, or how much candy you collect. I believe that what matters most in life is what you create. In college, I studied with a poet named Thomas Lux who said it this way:
If there are, each day, terrors
we have to live with
let them be: that we fail to make
something (anything, in whatever
realm: a new lilypad,
a way to line one extra belly
with nutrients, a tool
to scan and receive the vision of God);
and, of course, of course: that we not
be able to love.