The more I learn about the Mexican Festival of the Day of the Dead, the more I 'get it'. When I moved to the mainland from Hawaii, my first exposure to the festival was in Los Angeles in a store that specialized in selling wares related to Day of the Dead stuff. So, for the longest time, I thought of it as a commercial thing, much like Halloween is. That's the way I perceived of it for so many years.
Living in New Mexico has given me a closer exposure to it along with other connections to Mexico via a trip and by way of others who travel Oaxaca regularly. Over time, the layers build up of what the festival is all about.
As I am now past my mid-life marker, the list of those who have gone before me has grown considerably. Some of the anniversaries are tough to get through, such as the one for my mother. I've gone from being mildly fascinated by the Festival of the Dead to a full comprehension and embrace of what it is. It makes sense to me, to have one day out of the year to remember all that have gone before me. Celebrating all the anniversaries of their death is too much to do emotionally. Celebrating their lives on one day makes total sense to me. And thank you, Susanna for your heartfelt explanation of this celebration. It has connected ALL of the dots for me. And to Stephanie too who, together with Susanna, organized the Dia de Bloglandia event!
"El Vaquero" 16" x 20" mixed media created for South Broadway Cultural Center Annual Day of the Dead Exhibit (show opens on Nov. 2).
"Remembering". An ATC I did in 2007 for our October theme which we called "Spirits". She is someone from circa 1909-1918 from a stash of glass negatives that I have from a photography studio (not known as to which one it is) that was located on Gold St. in downtown Albuquerque. This is all of the image on that negative as it was one that experienced quite a bit of deterioration over the years.
"Requiem". Another ATC done in October 2005 (we dared to name that theme Day of the Dead).
To my Aunty Nila. My cousin Margie. My friend, Terry Price. My Grandmother, Emiliana. My Uncle Big Boy. My Aunty Trinining. My cousin Joanne. My Unlce Alfredo. My Uncle Pablo. My Uncle Ted. My dear friend, Ernie Drube. My friend, Theresa Oda. Her brother, Chris. Her sister, Damien. Her brother Gerard. Her mother, Jayne. My cousin, Jerry. My cousin, Arlene. My mother. The list goes on...I cannot recall all of the names at this moment in time. There are too many...
"Pie Jesu Dominie, dona eis requiem".
Gentle Lord Jesus, grant them rest.