Thursday, October 26, 2006

Days of the Dead

We're working on a *Day of the Dead art trade over at Imagination Tribe, entries being due on the 2nd. Having already received a couple trade items, I'm getting more inspired. Sierra and I worked on ours and came up with some that we're really happy with, though my **shrine is staying here with me. Sometimes I can't bear to part with something. It's also an inch larger than the size parameters so I have my excuse to not send it away.:)

I've really enjoyed this trade immensely. The onslaught of cold weather lends itself to turning within, journeys into self and a hunkering down at home with loved ones and hot soup. Something about this time of year causes me to slow down and create more art and writing.

I had a night where the past felt overwhelmingly painful last week, swirling up feelings of loss. I cried for my mother, great grandmother and mother-in-law, I cried for Hannah Jenner and all the parents that don't have their babies in arms. I opened a box if keepsakes and cried over the past that I can't touch any longer....bits of notes from loved ones and times that will never be again. Loss. It's such a powerful word.

Kahlil Gibran said "Your joy is your sorrow unmasked. And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper the sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain. Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven? And is not the lute, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight."

Yin-Yang. Balance. Universal flow.
I find his words resonate with me. It's all part of this journey. Learning to accept loss as a natural part of our visit to this earth helps us release that which no longer has a place here with us. As much as I would love to hold onto my mother, that was not her journey. I trust her journey is exactly what it's meant to be, even if it causes my pain.

*Days of the Dead is a time to reflect on death and life and losing loved ones. It is a time to honor those we've loved that have died. It is a time to go within and find the joy of the season, to celebrate life and light and all that we enjoy. As our part of this planet spins itself towards darkness, it is time to enjoy the quiet season. The harvest is in, the labor is finished for now, it's time for reflection and connection.

*Dias de los Muertos starts on October 31st and finishes on November 2nd.
**Quotes on the shrine are: "To the well-organised mind, death is but the next great adventure." ~Albus Dumbledore
"Death--the last sleep? No, it is the final awakening." ~Sir Walter Scott


Danielle said...

Love the El Dia!

We had that Gibran poem read at our wedding in honor of my dad and other loved ones. It's beautiful.

zenmomma said...

What is your shrine made out of? It's amazing.

Ren said...

It actually started with a cheapo frame from the Dollar Tree. I sanded and embellished and painted and glued tranparency on the inside window etc...

Went and bought a few more for other shrine projects. It was a lot of fun.:)

And I'm a big Kahlil Gibran fan! I have my mother's copy of "The Prophet" as well other books he wrote.