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pull their strings and they will dance
Posted on October 31, 2011 at 07:59 AM | Permalink
art, dancing dia de los muertos mariachi puppet tutorial, day of the dead folk art
Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca.
just under a mantle of blue purple mountains, lingering veils of copal incense,
join the black iron crosses, white lilies, and prayer.
families here are quiet.
women with long black braids joined at the end with
peeks of ribbon that run up and down the length of their years,
like bright hands holding life itself together.
everything keeps time, even their robozos,
the cloth of life,
holding on to sacred events that comprise all life.
mothers wrap babies securely to their hearts.
years later wrapped in a coil placed like a halo on
a young girl will carry an earthen olla full of
spring water from the foot of these same blue purple mountains
that shoulder the timeless panteon
where those who have walked the foot trails from birth to death
rest wrapped in their robozos eternally.
it was here in this Zapotec village that i learned
the ancient art of acknowledgement.
invited into the home, before a single word is exchanged
one always walks first to the family altar.
here you begin your greetings to the ancestors,
all those who have lived before you.
incense is offered
and rises like a white plume where the breath of the living
mixes with the permanence of the ever-after.
the veil lifts and you turn back to greet each family member one by one,
oldest to youngest.
the taste of ephemeral life sweetens each moment.
in this panteon is a small austere chapel.
never in my life have i walked into a room at once
so completely empty, yet so overwhelming full.
a dozen male elders of the village are here.
it is dark, save candles and incense.
the altar spreads like an endearing hand across the front of the small chapel,
the flowers are the flowers you would walk past
all the days of your life, if this was your village.
there is one huge wooden cross.
it seems rooted to the earthen floor and reaches for the ceiling.
it is knotted and rough with age, smooth where hands have held it
on long processions for hundreds of years.
i stand at the entrance and long to enter...
a single woman arranging armfuls of flowers
smiles and nods a kind welcome.
i slowly walk in.
one at a time stands and walks over to me in a ritual greeting.
welcoming in me a place of belonging.
i sit on a simple wooden bench and close my eyes.
it is then that the chanting begins.
i have no photographs from inside this chapel,
yet the time i have spent here is etched on my heart forever.
the chanting becomes circling waves of emotion.
i find myself crying in a sea of forlorn letting go.
outside families honor their dead ancestors,
inside the chanting of the elders, i have lost my singleness
and become the all.
never have i felt such utter lament,
or have i been more firmly woven into the family of man.
i ask my Zapotec friends days later about the chanting.
they know immediately. yes. this is the last song.
when someone in their village dies the entire village walks
behind that worn cross.
the family bears the weight of the coffin that holds the body of
they walk the same foot trails of their ancestors of hundreds of years,
below the blue purple mountains to the panteon.
chanting the last song.
this is the art of remembering.
where on arriving,
you would first greet the ancestors on the family altar, then the living.
were when you take your leave, even from a crowded room...
you would acknowledge each and every person in a ritual farewell.
where when you finally depart the land of the living
you are carried on the shoulders of your loved ones
across the footpaths where you have marked
your one holy life
and everyone will sing for you the last song.
Posted on October 30, 2011 at 09:09 AM | Permalink
day of the dead, dia de los muertos, the art of remembering
SI! there you are!
we are biting at the bit in our best sombreros
waiting to return,
even as you place the last flowers
on each offrenda.
here in the eternal waiting
we linger so impossibly light that
we dance like wind, whispering our constant
love for you on every passing breeze.
si, mi amors...and we know all your dreams.
from eternity they look like bright
tropical birds rising,
to catch the light.
allow us to introduce
Jose A Chavez
maestro of paper mache
para dia de los muertos!
Posted on October 29, 2011 at 01:41 PM | Permalink
dia de bloglandia, dia de los muertos, jose a chavez, paper mache folk art
los dios mija
hindsight is twenty twenty
viva la vida!!!!
reflecting on voices of those loved now gone,
how they all share one desire,
to set our hearts on holy fire
viva la vida!
while haiku brings us together,
it is the time taken to visit and leave a kind word
that truly gives us a sense of belonging.
to fully experience the power of connecting i encourage you to
visit each participant and leave a kind word of
acknowledgement along the way.
imagine if our departed loved ones had one more chance to
express their place in our hearts.
please link back to
haiku my heart
recuerda mi corazon
so more may join us.
Posted on October 27, 2011 at 11:15 PM | Permalink
dia de los muertos, haiku my heart, mosaic art, viva la vida