Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Image from here

Last night J and I watched Almodóvar's new film The skin I live in. Surprisingly, it was the perfect movie to watch to precede this holiday. Suspenseful and full of plot twists. I wish I could say more but can't! It was amazing.
I extremely recommend that you watch it, and if you do please come back and tell me what you thought.
My mind is still spinning about it!

On a different note, I have picked a few things that would complement the feeling in the air today.
I hope you enjoy them.

A poem:

Animated Billy Collins poem "The Dead".
(you might remember I posted a version of it read by the author here)

A story:

Tom Waits. What's he building in there? 

A song:

Bobby "Boris" Pickett and the Krypt-kickers. 


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Collection of bones.

I am hoping this unveiling of my skull and bone collection will make some sense after my last post.

Wishing you tons of fun this weekend,


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)

La Catrina by José Guadalupe Posada

The air is festive in my adopted land, and as much as I enjoy Halloween and it's cheesy-creepy atmosphere, it makes me very home sick (more than any other holiday, in fact).
Dia de los Muertos is approaching and I miss terribly it's aesthetic and meaning. It is celebrated on November 1st and 2nd, and it is a cultural tradition that dates back to pre-hispanic times and that has been hybridized with Catholic holidays (All Souls day and All saints Day).

Día de los Muertos is less about Death than about celebrating Life. It is a day to be reminded that Life cannot be without Death, and that because of the fact that we will all die someday Life is precious and should not be wasted. Everyday matters and should be enjoyed. An acknowledgement of the ultimate dichotomy, a theme I have been focusing on for a while now and should probably write a post about sometime soon.

It is also a celebration of those we love that have died, a day to remember them and keep them close to our hearts. In Mexico it is a tradition to set up little altars with offerings to our beloved dead (Ofrendas) that include their photographs, candles, marygolds (xempazúchitl), paper banners and some of the  favorite things of the deceased (like jewelry, music, food and drinks).
Here are a couple of nice examples of Ofrendas: 

Image from here.

I particularly love this ofrenda, where the brushes used by the deceased are on display.
This image and many other nice examples found here.
Sometimes ofrendas are set up right on the graves of those who we miss. Graveyards on Dia de los Muertos become festive with people eating, playing music, sharing, remembering.

You can buy this image by visiting here.
Pan de Muerto (image from here)
Food is a crucial element of Día de los Muertos. Bakeries make a special bread decorated with "bones": tasty, moist, sugar covered goodness (oh, I could trade my kingdom for a slice of that right now); and at markets and plazas everywhere you find sugar skulls in all sizes adorned with colorful details. If you are lucky, the person selling them will have some colored sugar to write your name on the forehead of your skull. My sister and I loved getting our own and would put off eating them for the longest time, they were so pretty. Looking back, I believe those little sugar skulls were our first lesson on mortality. A sweet festive lesson.
Calavera de azúcar (buy your own here)
As you know we are new in our neighborhood and I am not sure wether there are any kids out here, but just in case they come knocking on our door on Halloween, I am off to buy some candy. 
And maybe this weekend I will venture out to San Francisco in chase of some Pan de Muerto.

Hope you are having fun!

PS. To see a Catrina slideshow visit here.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Bone collection, sneak peek.

I have been meaning to photograph a few of the skulls and bones in my collection to show you and have not got around to it just yet, so I figured you would like to get a glimpse in advance.
Expect more soon!

Hope you are having a nice weekend.

The little swallow is a paper cut I made for J on our anniversary. Or was it his birthday?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Long way home.

The morning was gray and I was moody.

Would you mind if we take the long route home? he asked.

I ended up in my first corn maze ever.

Hope you are having a great weekend!

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