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...and they lived happily ever after. Smith & Lady: poets, artists, photographers & adventurers.
Our relationship was forged to the soundtrack of Yoko Ono's magic,
frenetic, love-laden song, "Walking On Thin Ice." ( play song )

day of the dead

cemetery Day of the Dead candle lit wall grave chambers – foto by smith

Last night we saw trees full of very large swooping fruit bats. Then in the cemetery we saw our first live scorpion. Primitive to primitive. Fruit bats are called flying foxes. These must have been small ones because they were only two foot from wing to wing tip – they grow as large as 5 foot. There were dozens hanging in the trees, licking fruit, then dropping off to swoop in the street light and land again in the trees to lick some more – a night ballet.

We walked to the cemetery in the dark because Lady had heard there’d be folk walking around with candles. Some folk spend the night sitting next to their dead. When we got to the cemetery, we found carnival rides set up outside the entrance with food and trinket stalls up and down the cemetery wall. Inside there were thousands of candles, one in each walled grave chamber. The dead get to lie in these wall chambers as long as their relatives pay – once the money runs out, the sealed chamber is opened, the body removed to the catacombs, and the space is rented to the next dead body.

As we walked around the graves, we saw dozens of Day of the Dead sand paintings and paper mache skeleton brides.

Before the cemetery, we spent the day at a Oaxaqueño’s house helping build her Day of the Dead altar and making mole (a dark non-sweet chocolate sauce they pour over everything here, and which everyone but me seems to like the taste of). Once home, Lady created her own Day of the Dead altar for her grandfather. I just let my dead lay or lie in the lee. I figure they’re dead, what do they care. The dead are yesterday. Today is for the living and the eternally dying. Folk rely too much on yesterday death for their daily life.

Today we’re heading out to visit a Zapotec family in Mitla to look at the temple ruins and see what the dead are doing.

Mausoleum, Museum, Movie

Entombed in night, uneasy
In the wrought iron knots
Of the grey spider’s thread
  vague eternal, ember
They scurry replete, unfree
To such preconceived thoughts
As are hung from the dead

making a Day of the Dead altar – foto by smith

One Response to “day of the dead”

  1. MadM says:

    I like having a day dedicated to remembering my dead; have borrowed a bit from the Dia de los Muertos for my ceremony. As for “what do they care?”, we won’t know till we are them; till then, the rituals at least do good for the living…

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