- Books, Literature, and Writing
...Skin of the Flesh/The Day of the Dead...
The Day of the Dead new parchment art, my Sunday Submission for October 9, 2011
I write before sleeping. I write when I wake up. I write during the day, and the night, whenever it is okay for me to turn my attention to it.
Sometimes, while I am driving...I will see a jogger and there will be this look of determination and purpose on their face. I think of an episode of "The Big C" where the woman is determined to enter and complete a New Years Eve marathon against the specific advice of her doctor who is monitoring his cancer patient. She turns to him and tells him something like "I am going to use this body until I can't use it anymore, I am going to use it up." That statement she made, can apply to anyone, whether they are ill or not. I often wonder how many people would never change they way they are if they were not threatened with life altering realities of disease or physical issues that are terminal or perpetual...and make them think in "the end of my life" things...
I think to myself, what will happen when I write about these end of my life thoughts where other people can read them? Will people appreciate them...will they think little or less of me? I think, whatever happens is fine because I have learned some really altering things over the past six months. I have learned that alot of things we think about, that we think we are alone in thinking about, are really things that we all think about. I can't be the only one at 4 am wondering what happens when its all over. What happens to my children, my life left behind, my things...they go on...I live in memories, my things get sold or trashed or boxed up in the corner of the basement. My flesh...yes that. What happens there...Macabre, yes I know. It's that time of year.
My Sunday Submission today is a new parchment piece of art called "The Day of the Dead". I have realized it in the back of my mind that I had quit smoking on this day, November 1st and it will be seven years this November. I chose the date because I was about to start a new phase, I was going to be however old and it was significant at the time. I didn't really realize until this past week that my own personal "Day of the Dead" would be an interwoven theme to all of the stuff I had been doing on and off for several many years.
The Day of the Dead is a Mexican festival that honors the ancestors with symbols of death that are not meant to be scary or morose. The symbols of the skulls and colorful flowers, the bright gold flowers and the edible creations are all for the respect of those who have passed on. It is a day to be reminded of the nearness of death and to celebrate life. I have placed these images and words into my new illustration and like alot of what I do creatively, I will continue to illustrate that which fascinates and frightens me. It is helpful to me to channel these things that I seek to know and share them with whomever wants to look on. I sometimes feel like I don't or shouldn't explain myself because the in between the lines message or images will speak for themselves.
The Day of the Dead comes directly after Halloween/Samhain and coincides with All Souls Day and All Saints Day. It seems that many of the people of the world celebrate the spirits of those who have passed on between November 1 and 2. The veil between the worlds of the living and the dead is the thinnest here, and if you continue reading about this time of year you will see that it has always been this way. The act of celebrating death is nothing to be afraid of and is a reality that mortality teaches. It is the reason why cemeteries fascinate me, and many others of course. The spirits of those who have passed do linger around us...whether in memory or something more...