“March brings breezes loud and shrill, stirs the dancing daffodil.” Sara Coleridge
Dia de los Muertos Ofrenda… no Offend-a
Reposted from October 2018…
Now when it comes to talking about Dia de los Muertos… as a white, middle aged, blond haired, green eyed guera, I consider myself no entitled-ass expert over here or anything. But know this- while I am not Mexican by birth I married one, we’re raising three, AND I made alters for Dia de los Muertos before the movie Coco came out. To further prove my bit of street cred, I totally love all things to do with the Mexican culture. Also I’m taking Spanish lessons on Rosetta Stone. So like… Yo tengo sandwiches, ya dig?Continue reading “Dia de los Muertos Ofrenda… no Offend-a”
Of Grave Importance
I was out on a construction site for work today next to the police station in Cibolo, TX… and there was an old cemetery across the street that looked beyond intriguing. I’ve discussed my love of old graveyards before here.
I wrote on that previous post about the peace of graveyards, and how time kinda removes the grief from death… but it wasn’t how I felt this morning. God, there were just so many children… parental loss and it’s screaming anguish was still so upfront in this graveyard.
The symbolism though… the lamb, the tree cut down too soon…
Or this one, that was excruciating to imagine those parents who lost their 2 and 3 year old daughters two days apart in 1890. What sickness was in the house… what grief those poor people endured. It still hung heavy in the air around this dual grave:
The ratio of children to adults was much too high for a normal (I use that phrase loosely), more enjoyable stroll around a graveyard. But there was still the normal interesting things that are what I like. (said the crazy person…)
I always knew tree trunks were Woodsman of the World headstones… but turns out why there are so many of them is interesting. They were free with W.O.W. life insurance policies! And the Germans would be damned if they were going to pass up a sweet deal like that! Hence SO many tree stump headstones! A tall trunk is for adults, short logs are for children… not sure if the 2 cut logs the larger trunk is astride means they lost two children or just that they sprang for the more expensive policy package.
No one is REALLY sure why there are so many cemented in sea shell covered graves in the South… many of them far away from the ocean. Loose, non cemented in shells (often conch shells like the two closest to the headstone on the picture above) generally mean someone took a pilgrimage and brought it to the grave long after burial. (European symbolism there of a pilgrimage). Slaves often marked graves with shells because the ocean brought them to this place, and so the shells symbolized taking them to their final home. Perhaps these German immigrants used them for the same symbolism? My favorite theory (though I don’t think it’s right) is that shells were used s shingles on grave surfaces as a protective “roof”… so totally utilitarian. And while that DOES sound very 1800s German it doesn’t quite jive because the rest of the graves are so ornate. Shells have generalized Christian symbolism… we may just have to leave it at that and that it was just a Victorian fad.
The urn was a symbol of death long after cremation went out of fashion, and the shroud symbolized variously: the last curtain between life and death, or protection, or that death has fallen over something. I’ve seen shrouded angels (fucking terrifying, lemme tell ya), shrouded fruit baskets, shrouded obelisks and urns… there were some pretty talented stone carvers back in the day. It’s one of my favorite things to look for in cemeteries, the shrouded statuary.
And then there are the hands. The hand like that is SUPPOSED to be pointing up to heaven and God, but which always look like a shaking finger like “Oh you! You got me! Never saw that one coming, I didn’t!”
Next there are these, my VERY favorite things- enamel pictures from the 1800s. The glimpses of people… generally in the prime of their lives even if they lived to be old… which I LOVE. I HATE modern obituaries that only have the pictures from the very end of life… I love seeing people from another age, in their prime, looking out at the world like this! Now, as much as I love graveyards, I never wanted to be IN one before. Cremate me and cast me in the Frio River in Uvalde… but I’m tempted by the chance to be one of these for the next few centuries…
And inscriptions… There was one that read Asleep In Jesus from 1915 for a 25 year old dude. Which is just weird and I hope just the result of iffy English skills. Or this one:
It reads, or as damn close as Google Translate can get me, “The silent grave is unafraid of the Devil, because of faith in God and no fear of Judgement.” Well okay then.
I guess I love old cemeteries for the same reason as I like older neighborhoods and not the cookie cutter new developments. Variability! Individuality! Craftmanship! Interesting Things!
Here’s the thing, every once in a while I think like, huh. So THAT’S how I turned out, to be someone who likes old cemeteries. Who would have known when I was younger that I’d grow up to be that? Wonder if quilters or giant pumpkin growers or people who collect typewriters ever wonder the same thing?
Linking up with Samantha at Fake Fabulous HERE- check it out!
Almost a Valentine’s Day Article…
So I entered a submission for “love stories pertaining to bodies of water” (specific, don’t I know it) from a Canadian environmental magazine. Now, I work for a Canadian manufacturer in the environmental field even though I am based out of Texas, so that’s how I can see these sorts of things. And lo and behold- I DO have a love story that pertains to a body of water… it just happened to be in Texas. Unfortunately the whole article concept was scrapped because I was the only one who submitted anything and a lone Texas story in a Canadian magazine wasn’t really what they were after. But I’ll be damned if I won’t share it here! So I give you… a love story.Continue reading “Almost a Valentine’s Day Article…”
Happy Friday- Fun with Actual Photo Titles
Ah, the world of professional photography. It’s a weird world. And also one where if you want to make any money… I suggest you sell your camera.
I am glad for all those weirdos out there taking quality pictures of the most random things and posting them for free on the Internet- pictures that most of the time have straightforward captions. But sometimes… magic happens.
You gots a youtube tutorial on how to recreate that smokey eyeshadow technique, piggy? My makeup game needs some help.
You’ve never actually eaten fruit salad, have you? And… that orange is orange. Orange is not red. Red is not that orange. Orange orange.
Stab in the dark here- this is a French Military parachute celebration we’re talking about?
Yeah. There are a LOT of “rodent” pictures by this one photographer. And not one mention of the word gerbil. And.. some are so weird I started getting a bit concerned. And rightly so, turns out, by this next picture.
When life hands you lemons you make lemonade (or fruit salad). When life hands you dead young cute male rodents you make a brown bread rodent sandwich.
Here is a picture my 2nd oldest/2nd youngest took almost 2 months ago at the beach- just wanted to share. Love the colors! Love the composition! So art-y!
Got a baby slowly talking herself awake over here- Happy Friday!