Sunday, November 7, 2010

All Souls go to Heaven

In all the years I lived in Tucson, I never purposefully went to the All Souls Procession. Once, Ollie, my bike and I accidentally got caught on the sidewalk a few years ago until I squeezed my way out of there. The big crowds of people with their faces masked and painted made me incredibly nervous. I have a big BIG phobia of people in masks, especially people who I could possibly know but won't recognize. Also, seeing my former-boss covered in gold with a really scary mask pulling a GIANT urn with thousands of people following him, acquaintances getting drunk, being faux-ethnic, and the entire north side of Tucson parked up and down 4th Avenue gawking always irked me a little. I am not embarrassed to say that I was one of those down-towners who made claim to certain areas like 4th and Congress and West University, so during events like street fair, club crawl and the procession, I would always get annoyed with the disruption of my regular routine. (Many of these events were considered down-town events, sponsored and organized by people like me, but still...I'm a weirdo...)
(Photo by Lisa Jo Roden of a skull she bought from our shop a few months ago. Doug painted this little guy by hand with acrylic)

Don't get me wrong, I love Dia de los Muertos. I think it is an incredible tradition, and since I haven't had much death in my life, I can only appreciate it from an outsiders perspective. (I have been blessed enough that I have had very few members of my family, friends, or even acquaintances pass away in my lifetime.) Maybe that's why the procession hasn't drawn me into it. I'm sure if I had more to mourn, remember, celebrate, I would have had more reason to be part of the procession. If I could ever get over my childish phobia. I love images from the Old World Mexico on the days of children and dead. They are so serene and floral.

And of course these incredible photos by John Rees are haunting.

Right after I graduated from the University, I lived in a huge house with three other girls, so many years ago. They were my first roommates and I remember them getting ready for the procession. They never invited me to join them, and I didn't ask. I didn't have many close friends (I've always been kind of a loner) so I just admired their pretty costumes and said goodnight. Maybe I missed out by never attending, but I know that if I would have gone, I would have been intensely nervous and would have left anyways.

Everyone I know in Tucson is walking the procession right now, and even though I had never been before, it reminded me of Tucson. (I almost wrote 'reminded me of home' but Tucson never really felt like home to me.) And I thought I would make a little post about it, and my experiences with it. So today, this day of the dead, I hope your thoughts are in a good place and that we always remember the dead.

Now, on a way happier note. I just watched this video and it is incredible.


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