La Vida es Dulce (Life is Sweet)

una calavera
una calavera

Big changes happening here in MosaicMoodland. Things I see on the horizon are near enough to be almost satisfying (soon, hopefully soon).

I have been woefully indolent this late summer and managed to resuscitate it only at the very end. I am excited that I entered the 5th Annual Day of the Dead Group Show at a wonderfully eclectic venue, Eagle Rock’s Cactus Gallery.

I completed two pieces (see below) in time for the show, which opens on Saturday, October 10 (their website mistakenly says October 3). I love Dia de los Muertos art and enjoyed learning about its history and traditions. A web search for Dia de los Muertos will yield a lot of amazing work, from decorative sugar skulls to fine art.

I’ll let you look it up if you’re interested in the details but I love the way this celebration connects the living with the dead so naturally. Wiki says, “Many people believe that during the Day of the Dead, it is easier for the souls of the departed to visit the living.” So they basically invite the souls of lost loved ones to come round and “hear the prayers and the comments of the living directed to them.” Plans and preparations abound, and the spirits of the dead are welcomed home, enticed by food and drink, and much reminiscing.

I have often wished I had been raised with some relation to the dead other than seeing sorrow in my mother’s eyes and feeling grief settle in the house. In my family, death was handled with hushed voices and closed doors… and a fair amount of alcoholism. I had never been to a funeral before my mother’s, never seen a dead body before hers — a shocking way to meet death for the first time.

The hilltop cemetery where my mom and grandmother are buried is decorated by smallish, plastic flowers at far less than half of the gravesites. All grave markers are recessed into the grass. I prefer cemeteries with proud, standing headstones of various shapes and sizes. Cemeteries should not look like golf courses. If so, where are the dead? We are not allowed to leave anything on the grass, which must be mowed. All flowers have to be left in preplanted, in-ground urns which many graves don’t have. Besides, our harsh winds and sun would destroy real flowers within hours if not minutes. Last March, my cheeks were bitten by the wind there, my lungs made sore from the dry air.

I’ve not been accompanied to their graves since their death. I have no tradition, unless you call ignoring death a tradition. I see now that I could have started one with my own children, if I had known what I know now, that it’s okay (and necessary) to celebrate the lives of the dead, that it won’t kill you (although sometimes it feels like it).

So here’s to Dia de los Muertos. Even though I am not Mexican and I am not Catholic (I am not even religious), I am human, and I miss so many people that I have loved.

My sweet enticement…

La Vida es Dulce
La Vida es Dulce
side view
side view

A passionate piece for The Day… Corazón Ardiente (Blazing Heart)

Corazón Ardiente
Corazón Ardiente

Click here for a very special Dia de los Muertos creation by Du Buh Du Designs! You won’t be disappointed.  C h r i s t i n e A l v a r a d o …Stunning work, as always!

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9 thoughts on “La Vida es Dulce (Life is Sweet)

  1. Amazingly beautiful little creations to celebrate your love for your ancestors! I love them!

    I have thought a tiny bit about making a day of the dead altar for a local art show but haven’t come up with anything really. There is too much for me to think about doing for the living right now!

  2. Hi Mary!
    I was just at your Wood Thrush Studio website last night or the night before. I have to go look at “FLY MOONWARD MOTHER ON SUNSET WINGS ” every once in awhile because it’s always been my favorite. Alas, I saw on Etsy that it was sold!

    I had been in a creative stall and the Day of the Dead show provided me with a deadline. Deadlines are good for me, LOL.

    I appreciate your compliments here because I love your work and admire the strength and resilience you show in your life.

  3. Your work is lovely.

    I came across your blog because you left a message on Recovery relapse recovery post.

    You have so many symptoms and I see your ME/CFS started with a flu like illness do check out the postibility of Lyme Disease and have a look at my blog.

    My ME/CFS/Fibr/poly myalgia rheumatica was found to be Lyme and on long term antibiotics I am now 100%.

    We are not always aware of tick bite as the smallest is a poppy seed size.
    Only 30% get a bulls eye rash.
    Blood tests miss 50% of cases.
    Most main stream doctors haven’t a clue when it comes to Lyme. Doctors specialising in lyme can be found through the many charities’ links on my blog.

    Good luck in finding something that helps you get your health back.

  4. @Joanne
    Thank you for mentioning Lyme disease. I have been tested and evaluated over the years (19 yrs) for that illness and I don’t fit the profile. My CFS was acute onset after the flu (the worst flu I ever had). That flu came after a string of viral assaults that winter. That the last one was the last straw for me.

    I will go look at your blog, as I know others with CFS and could use some up to date info on Lyme. Thanks.

  5. Many thanks and I hope the information may help others as sharing seems to be our best help with our medical services so unwilling to get to grips with these illnesses.

  6. I love the “La Vida es Dulce” piece. Are the pieces permanently affixed or do they come out and get re-ordered? Do they double as pins? Hope the show went well for you.

  7. @Fred…So NOW you tell me all these good ideas, after it’s finished!
    Maybe I need a creative consultant?

    They are permanently affixed. I get so stressed about things falling apart later that I double glue everything.

    The show starts Saturday, runs for the month. Thanks, I hope Cactus Gallery does well with this show. They are a unique and Argentine gift & art space.

  8. Oooh I want to eat them! Is that bad? They look so gorgeous, my fingers wiggled over the page when I saw the image, like an excited chocolate lover choosing which one to have first out of a new box.

    How wonderful that you can transmute grief into beauty and delight.

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