Where does one start when talking about Mexico? It is the most extraordinary country. An easy place to visit. The place my friends have chosen to live out their retirement years.
Blogger has unkindly scrambled the photos I so carefully organized. No matter. It will be like my memories of the past week. Tumbled together.
Looking from the rooftop of one friend's house to the rooftop across the street where another friend is building his (their) dream house. On the far hill lives an artist I studied encaustic with last year.
Heaven is all around.
We stayed in Casa de Noche on Organos. We loved it there.
As we waited to meet our friend on Quebrada Street we noticed this doorway with the slipped keystone above the door. See how the door is wedged on one side?
Looking down into one of the Casa's many courtyards.
There were many altars in town. This is a large painting done with sawdust and other earth materials that I couldn't identify. It's a least 6 feet square.
There were Day of the Dead festivities planned for the days leading up to November 2nd. Here is the church with papel picado (cut paper flags) flying across the jardin. What doesn't show very well is the air harp strung from the jardin to high up in the church towers. I have a video of the music it makes that I may post later.
We just got home last night and I may never get all my photographs sifted through. No matter. They're all in my head; sitting lightly on top of the dreams I've been having all week.
Wouldn't it be fun to come here in 2013 and make art and see the city? Hmmmmm.....
The walls look like paintings.
My friend William and I made an altar for Helen who passed earlier this year. It was very moving. Next year I'm going to make an altar for some of my relatives. I hadn't realized what a powerful ritual it is.
The jardin was filled with Catrinas one night. There was a parade and a stage with many beautiful interpretations of the tradition. I wish I'd taken more pictures. Next year I might participate. Big hat. Long skirt. Very cool.
Then margaritas and jicama tacos afterward with shrimp and chipotle sauce. Can you say, "una mas, por favor"?
On the way to the cemetery the next day we walked down a long alley filled with flowers, food stalls and people with buckets full of water and vases. Time to take beautiful things to the dead people. Time to laugh, sing, eat and cry. To offer food, beauty, our presence and respect.
Here begins the procession.
First you buy the flowers.
Carry your bundle through the crowd.
We run into Katya and Yogesh who teach us their practice of putting flowers on the graves of the gringos in the neglected side of the cemetery. They part out their bundles and share with us so that we are able to join in. What a great idea!
The graves of the Mexicans are lavishly adorned. There are bands who sing the favorite songs of the dead family members while everyone looks pensive. Some of the music is very happy and by that you know that the loved one was a person who loved a good party.
My friends and I sit at one of the stands and eat gorditos and drink tamarind agua. Day of the Dead takes it out of you.
Marigold petals are scattered.
I was attracted to the stacked graves with the names of the dead painted on by hand. They looked like beautiful paintings on plaster which is just what they were. Stephanie Lee is looking at this and smiling (we wrote a book ...).
Another beautiful interpretation.
A perfect painting.
Oh, San Miguel.
You own my heart.
The gringo side of the cemetery is much quieter.
Back home now. Amazed at the fall colors. Starting to unpack the dirty clothes and face our lives here again.