Salem . Witches. And Kindness overdue

Sat, 10/21/2023 - 11:45am

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    What's the Buzz" covers what's happening, what might be happening, and what should be happening in the opinion of the author.

    Eleanor Cade Busby is an unpublished award-winning writer, photographer and blogger & simply loves writing about herself in third person.She published this absolutely all true bio.

    Busby grew up all over New England,a preacher's kid who set out to destroy every single stereotype about a "Minister's Daughter."

    She attended Goddard College, The Rhode Island Conservatory of Music and The School of Life, majoring in everything she could stuff into her head. She once had her own office and a red stapler. Her employees learned quickly never to touch it.

    Much of her very long life has been spent on or back-stage at theaters. She penned a couple of plays, directed many more and acted in scores of productions. She's done it all except hanging lighting. You can't make her climb a ladder.

    She won awards locally & nationally for social services and customer care. Most recently she was awarded the PEN/Toni and James C. Goodale Freedom of Expression Courage Award along with 3 million of her closest personal friends for "galvanizing a potent global movement to resist infringements on the rights and dignity of women and many other groups."

    Busby has been a theater, art and dance reviewer and commentator for several publications, including CRACKED magazine.

    Opinionated, obstinate, much-abused, and under-appreciated, she believes that if it isn't funny or relevant, it isn't worth it.

    Eleanor Cade Busby lives in Midcoast Maine with two cats who like to stand on her head at 3 AM demanding a sacrifice, often her sanity.

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There is something weighing on me. It comes every autumn whispering. It is how we speak of Salem and Witches. People flock to Salem to walk where terrible things happened. Legends have grown around curses levied and ghostly apparitions, and fear of and I quote “Seeing the ghost of Giles Corey means you die within in a week.”  There are others- things the ‘witches” said in extremis, under torture. There is little recorded of the threats made against them or the inhumane treatment, even of little children at the hands of religious and political zealots.

 I take exception to all of that. Perhaps, once more, this comes from lessons I learned as a small child. I sat at the feet of my father, a Pastor in nearby Essex, Mass, while he wrote and talked. I have the very desk here with me now that I played beneath. I heard other views, debates, even scholarly arguments about these things and I learned.

The accused, the condemned, were not practitioners of any craft, they were Christians like their neighbors. Perhaps they did not have the financial resources to support the church as the Puritans demanded.  Perhaps they found the falsehoods and meetinghouse-only-good-people too hypocritical to bear. Whatever the reason, the murdered people called no curses down, prayed the same prayers even in their extremity and should be remembered and mourned as innocent victims of greed and jealousy not named what they were not. If they had claimed that name I would cheer beside them- but not one, not one did.

I grew up knowing that “witches” were, in general, what men called ‘ uppity” women. Midwives became vilified when ‘doctors’ wanted that share of the income, however small. Goodwives became a threat- they could read, what manner of magic was in these kettles? (The MAGICK of soup?) If a man or woman owned a property that was coveted , they were often the target  of an outcry.

 Anyway- there are scholarly arguments you can read. I just want to suggest that we think twice before deciding to make witches- who actually do have a kind and generous belief system based in nature- are a reason to run and hide- or that apparitions- should you see one- are out to cause harm.

I have another way of ‘seeing’ I guess.  Partly because some people locally have made my personal belief a way to vilify me- for no reason other than ignorance, The  “witches” of Salem were neighbors- they never would have cursed even those who did them so terribly wrong. Try to have fun and please remember that Hallowe’en season does mean more to many many people  than costumes and candy.


The leaves turn, the mind sees shadows in the newly naked corners. of yards or cemeteries

Old barns falling from disuse suddenly house restless spirits.

You walk shivering in the autumn chill and there she is

or you think she is in her long-torn dress, pale and looking at you

You run or scream, or you call out fearfully but why?


Stand still breath in and speak softly-

“I see you, are you lost?

Are you lonely? Shall we sit awhile?

I will  stay with you here while the moon rises

For your shadow has found my substance

And I see the bit of you who is searching.”


So put aside the lies, the terrible lies that

Caused the murder of these sisters. These brothers.

Put aside all you have been told to do-

And instead of fleeing

Recognize them with a welcome.


And if it is just a shadow that passed over the moon

And not a restless  or aching heart

You have done no harm

And just maybe you have soothed some particle of

The universe that needed a little kindness.