Death is the Mother of Beauty.

It occurs to me how wordy I can be when there are wonderful visuals. Writing about the Days of the Dead reminded me that I have pictures of them.

802, 801, 800.
The top of the ofrenda. (Left) Fertility charms from friends, hospital bracelets. (Center) Gavin’s baby sweater, birthday greetings, our rings, a sex charm I made in a sardine can. (Right) Photos, wedding invitation, more hospital bracelets.

806, 807, 808.
The base of the ofrenda. (Left) Portrait of Gavin by a friend, milagro. (Center) Wooden flowers intended for our wedding, mums, painting from Oaxaca. (Right) Drawing of Gavin by a friend.

2006_Cancer Drawings. I’m not actually sure when Gavin did these, possibly in the summer of 2005, before the spine surgery. Everyone is drawn to them. I despised them on first sight. “Look, honey, I’m drawing the cancer going away.” Grrrr. It looked to me like he drew himself fading away. Losing weight, holes in his bones, mets all over, one drug after another, it still looks like prophecy.

It saddens me that people respond well to them – that he thought they would work, as part of his “visualization” routine, making it real with his eyes and his hands. And perhaps it’s contempt that makes me tell visitors how I thought these pieces foretold how he would erode and then disappear from this world. People want to buy them, I am broke but I don’t care. (Though I don't really want to keep them, either).

It’s not what he would have done, before disease, during, or now.

810. The blank piece of paper, hanging at the ready, which I cut up to make “party favors” for the 2007 Day of the Dead fire dance dedicated to Gavin.

I could talk more about how my Dad was a a photographer, and how careless I am about my history through images. I could talk about how a collective offering with Felipe Ehrenberg turned me back into an artist again, a long time ago. But for now, I’ll let the pictures do the talking.

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