See it for the fathomless mystery that it is....
Touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it
because in the last analysis all moments are key moments,
and life itself is grace."
as the indigenous of mexico.
it doesn't take long,
walking the cobblestones of a traditional village
until it dawns on you that each elaborate adornment of
is meant to last
no longer than the festival itself.
churches, altars, courtyards, homes are strung with papel picados
depicting scenes specific to cherished life events.
they are bright, joyous, intricately cut tissue banners
painstakingly punched with simple chisels.
strung in brilliant collections like prayer flags waving in the breeze,
they reside flying unabashed in the open air
until rain reduces them to nothing.
beauty for the eye and for the soul,
a gentle reminder that
we too shall pass.
there are candles...
flickering light to call out to the spirits and show the way.
long nights in the panteon young children make a game of
collecting the melting wax. there they are, like children
playing, laughing among themselves.
the wax runs one moment, like a bright lament,
suddenly transformed onto dreamlike shapes
while warming the hands of their young creators.
it is everywhere.
altars are as diverse
as the hands the create them.
are tied one to the other, on the back legs of the table and joined at the top.
the arch is elaborately decorated with the beauty of fruits and flowers,
representing the passage between life and death.
traditional altars consist of four levels,
representing the four stages of life,
four points of the earth,
the four seasons.
a photograph of the person,
or persons to whom the altar is dedicated finds a place of honor.
there is a glass or bottle of water to represent purity.
it is also waiting to quench the thirst of the arriving spirits.
the flames guide the spirits on their journey home.
flowers remind us of the impermanence of life.
placed in vases, woven in the arch, petals are often scattered across the
surface of the altar.
seasonal fruits, pan de muertos and favorite foods enjoyed in life by your departed loved one
are offered with great care.
it is believed the spirits will consume the scents and the essence of the food
prepared from your loving hands.
copal incense weaves its white smoke in the festivities of dia de los muertos,
cleansing the home and inviting the spirits
simple moments in life that burn into our hearts
with an intensity that sustains us.
dia de los muertos is food for the soul.
as each altar is lovingly arranged,
perhaps as simple as a cherished photograph, flowers, candle,
may we awaken the stories of those we love,
hear their voices, laughter, favorite songs.
may we find love and comfort
on the altar of remembering.
every sunday in october please join us in
the art of remembering.