Monday, November 2, 2009

La Calavera Amor

Image from Wikipedia, clicking the image will take you to the article.

El dia de los muertos, the day of the dead, is a holiday that originated in Mexico as a way to honor the deceased. It is a bright and joyous contrast to the usually somber and dark memorial services I've attended here in the states.

It is a time for families and friends to gather and reminisce about the lives of their dead by telling humorous stories, sharing fond recollections and creating personal and often time intricate altars. A lot of families will travel to the grave sites of relatives to clear brush, leave offerings of food and trinkets, decorate and picnic. At these graveside picnics the deceased is the guest of honor.

To me, el dia de los muertos is not a time to mourn the loss of loved ones, but a time to honor and remember them by celebrating and appreciating life. It is a time to take to heart the saying 'every day is a dance with death' , enjoy what precious time we have before we pass on.

As there are no celebrations in my area for this day, I celebrated at home. I lit a candle on my dia de los muertos altar, settled and thought about the past as well as the future, and let my friends and family know that I love them. I also painted a paper mache' mask up like a sugar skull to hang on the wall above my small altar and was inspired to paint myself up and update my Calvera portrait:

My paint was meant to symbolise love.

All that being said, I want to let each and every one of you know that I appreciate you. I am truly blessed to have found such a wonderful group of people, who have taught me so much about art, friendship, sprirituality and themselves. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experiences.

Feliz Dia de Los Muertos.


  1. What a beautiful picture of you! I love the makeup. We appreciate you too!

    Blessed Be!

  2. What a beautiful solitary celebration. Love your calavera paint and portrait.

  3. What a lovely post. I love that you paint your face.

  4. You, my friend, are very much appreciated and loved as well.

    Your make-up looks amazing! That picture is simply beautiful.


  5. What a wonderful post darling! I'm emailing it to my brother, he is Baptist and quite skeptical (if not a bit outraged) by El Dia de los Muertos, All Hallow's Eve... I want him to read and hopefully digest these words. I'm hoping they will take him back to our childhood in the Dominican Republic, when our mom would paint our faces with white power and charcoal. We would go to clean the graves of our dead and eat sweet bread, while drinking ginger tea, or red wine and rum if you were of age.

    As you already know, my grandma passed away a few weeks ago. Some of my relatives and my neighbors look at me weird when I play my music loud and say "Abuela always danced with me when this song played. I hope she can see me now and it's smiling."

    Well, I'm sorry for the comment-jacking. But this post was just that good!

    P.S. I wish I had noticed where you lived before. We are quite close to each other we could have celebrated together at El Museo del Bario; they had a wonderful Dia de los Muertos parade.

  6. Beautiful!! I love that image and love the bright colors, expressions. I love that vintagey/ folk look about them. Love looking at them


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