Day of the Dead 2010: My ofrenda, Day 1
It doesn't look like much, does it? This corner of the sun room is where we're going to build our ofrenda, or offering (commonly known as a "shrine"), for the Day of the Dead this year. I'll stack up some furniture or sturdy boxes, cover them with cloth, add holy objects, and at the last minute, on Nov. 2, put out some food and drink for the souls of loved ones who have passed.
I'm spending lots of time sorting through 6 boxes labeled "holy objects," for precious things to recall my life with Gavin and his life before me. As I do so, and as I spend time remembering, I recall other losses: should there be an area for my father, dead 17 years now? Or my sister's fiance, gone now for 13 years? For my grandmother, who passed less than a year after Gavin at age 103 and a half? How about for Frances, Gavin's mother, my burden, my savior?
And what deity will preside over this sacred assortment? The Lord Ganesh and our Lady of Guadalupe, at the very least. That's who I can bring - we'll see who else shows up.
This week, in preparation, I'm going to BREAK and CREATE. The break will be, to not do what's easy and what I'm used to - ensconced in my new world of widowed people and my new husband. I've decided to invite some people I haven't seen in years - who were close to Gavin, and who I've been bitter or conflicted about - to join us as I raise a Rolling Rock in Gavin's memory. I won't let the world move on and think it's all over when you die, when you break, when you find new love. I'll share, and I'll try to stay open and listen, and what is harder than that?
And I'm going to create, because being back in the time when we were together reminds me of some dreams I've dropped. How great it feels, how natural, to stretch my eyes on bright colors, to make things, to find parts and figure it out and work it through with my own fingers. I've twisted up marigolds, smushed Celluclay into skulls, and repurchased a basic palette of acrylics.
As the weather cools, I can feel my pulse warming up... exercising those old art muscles. But that's just what rocks my boat... anyone can join us in our virtual online Day of the Dead celebration: will you?