!Día de los Muertos!

Skeleton Family. Celebration of Día de Los Muertos in Guaymas, México (from Wikipedia Commons).
Skeleton Family. Celebration of Día de Los Muertos in Guaymas, México (from Wikipedia Commons).

OK folks, there’s been lots of angst and gnashing of teeth. You know that Rome was neither destroyed or rebuilt in a day. So, you can be glum in anticipation of this day but, whatever happens, you keep working for what you want. My little reminder coincides perfectly with just the holiday to cheer you up and help you keep your sense of perspective– Dia de Los Muertos!

What is this crazy holiday, you ask? Typically only celebrated in Mexico,

The Day of the dead is celebrated on November 2nd.  Sometime one hears reference to “the days of the Dead” which refers to the Days of October 31 – November 2.  October 31 is Halloween or All Hallows eve. November 1 is “el Dia de los innocentes” or the day of the children and All Saints Day.  November second is All Souls Day or the Day of the Dead.

(excerpt from “The Day of the Dead – Nov. 2nd,” by Helen Tafoya)

Families go to public funerary grounds to be with the souls of loved ones who have died. They build altars ornamented with the beloveds’ favorite drinks and foods including photographs and souvenirs.

The intent is to encourage visits by the souls, so that the souls will hear the prayers and the comments of the living directed to them. Celebrations can take a humorous tone, as celebrants remember funny events and anecdotes about the departed. [..]

Dia de Los Muertos Display (from Wikimedia Commons)
Dia de Los Muertos Display (from Wikimedia Commons)

During the three-day period, families usually clean and decorate graves; most visit the cemeteries where their loved ones are buried and decorate their graves with ofrendas (“offerings”) [..] Toys are brought for dead children (los angelitos, or “the little angels”), and bottles of tequila, mezcal or pulque or jars of atole for adults. Families will also offer trinkets or the deceased’s favorite candies on the grave. Ofrendas are also put in homes, usually with foods such as candied pumpkin, pan de muerto (“bread of the dead”), and sugar skulls and beverages such as atole. The ofrendas are left out in the homes as a welcoming gesture for the deceased. [..] In many places, people have picnics at the grave site as well.

(from “Day of the Dead“)

So my point is to make friends with your dead, departing expectations and dance with the absurdities and transformative opportunities of the present situation despite the fact that there may be some things beyond all of our control. However, in my humble opinion, the arc of our situation is bent towards the good regardless of the grindingly slow progress. Things are getting better as I’ve seen it in my personal situation. We aren’t the only ones going through changes as I hear the stories of friends in other parts of the world dealing with the same problems, worries and discontents. We all want the same good things all of which are typically created with sustained effort and determination. And it does take some time. Keep up the good work and dance a bit, Fire Pups. There’s no where but up!

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