Friday, November 06, 2009

dia de los muertos

One of my favorite days of the year is November 2nd and Dia De Los Muertos. I've been drawn to it in concept for as long as I can remember and have been celebrating it in some form since moving to the Mission District almost 10 years ago.

I love building an altar for those who have passed to remember them. I also love the artful celebration mixed with somberness mixed with playfulness in acknowledging death as a natural part of life. How often do we do that?

Growing up, having lost my dad as a baby, I wish that there had been a ritual in our culture that it was acceptable for us to gather to celebrate him. Every year as we grow older more folks pass on and I add them to my memory list. In 2003 Hugh and I went to Oaxaca, Mexico to celebrate Dia de Los Muertos in the decorated cemeteries and I remember it was the year of Johnny Cash, my Papa and family friend Michael B. This past year I thought a lot about my step-sister's mom and her humor and spirit of adventure. Here are some photos of us this year enjoying tacos, ice cream and feeling so alive playing dead.

me taken by diana fayt
skeletons! and a baby
the dead like ice cream too
skeletons basking in the light of taco trucks


kerin rose said...

I am from New Mexico, and we love this holiday there! I live in Vermont, and folks think the idea is 'morbid'!..couldnt think of a better way to celebrate a life...had no idea there was a big party in San Fran...looks like great fun!

Anonymous said...

Hi Mati,
I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on this. I believe that the darker parts of life should definitely be more acknowledged as well as the brighter ones.
(28, Melbourne, Australia)

Kylee said...

OH How I LOVE this! (and where may I ask did you get that wonderful shirt??)....

linda said...

Love the ice cream photos. We missed out there.

lisa s said...

you guys look so great.
love the ice cream shot !

pixie said...


we have to create these rituals ourselves! and it seems like you are doing that, in your own way, with your altar and special memories.

i'm so sorry you lost your daddy as a baby. babies need their daddies. even more important to honor your relation with him.

hug, pixie

janis said...

These are the best halloween outfits I have ever seen - and I am not big on (american) halloweens. Though I understand that experienced you had in year I was in Italy on day of the dead and it was so real, lovely, deep - I loved it. Thanks for bringing it home - carry on :)