Saturday, November 1, 2008

All Souls Day

Today is All Saints Day. Sunday is All Souls Day. In Mexican culture, these are the Days of the Dead, the days to remember and celebrate the lives of those who have passed away.

In the spirit of remembrance and in recognition of the Day of the Dead/All Souls Day, I want to write about the niche in my kitchen which holds my collection of good Spanish people, devils and cabbages (the cabbages just seemed to go together with the other two for some reason). They aren't exactly Day of the Dead decorations (no skulls) but I prefer to look at them as the good and "bad" that is in all of us, what makes us who we are. 

The large priest in the middle is a ceramic piece made by Lisa Smith that was purchased in Madrid, NM about 15 years ago.  

His hat, his head and his body are made in three separate pieces.

When you turn him around, he's a completely different person.

On one side he is a good strong priest and on the other side, I'm not quite sure who he is supposed to be but he looks like a dandy man out for some fun.

I think all of us have a little devil and hopefully more than a little good in us. 

These two priests are part of a procession made by a Peruvian artist which was purchased in Austin, TX about 15 years ago. Salt and pepper devils might seem a bit weird but at one time, devils were considered a symbol of good luck. I think it's interesting that the priests and the two devils are the same yellow and have similar red detailing. They're an oddly compatible pair of pairs.

I'm not sure what this little figure is but I think she's from Japan and I'm assuming she's supposed to hold candles. She's a mysterious little thing...

...but very, very focused. I imagine her hoping for good for everyone who needs it.

One little senora (who has just about had it from the bad girls behind her).

One bigger senora (still full of crema de cacao from the 20s).

And her Senor Matador (still full of Anis liqueur).

And then, the bad girls...

who apply their eyeliner...

as bad as the good girls.

Last year and this year have been big transition years for a lot of people I know, including myself (April was a numbing month). I don't mean to make light of some really serious things that have happened by tying them in to some dumb collection but this little collection of good Spanish people and devils has a lot of meaning for me. I don't know why. I see something different in the interactions between the characters whenever I take the time to look at them. The relationships, the symbols, the designs, the colors, the beauty. 

I got a call this morning from my dad who told me that his best friend Jack had passed away. I didn't know him that well but from what I've heard about Jack, he was full of the devil and had just as big a heart. The best kind of person you can be.

Supposedly on this one day, November 2, it is easier for the souls of the departed to visit the living so they can hear the thoughts and prayers of the people who loved them. To Jack and Bonnie and Ken, Uncle Bob, Aunt Helen, Aunt Dottie, and Uncle Ort, Lucy turtle, Bert, Natalie and Jack cat, all my love.


Mental P Mama said...

What a wonderful post. And there's something about the bad girls that I really like.

Maria said...

MPM- I really wasn't sure about this post after posting it so I very much appreciate your kind comment.

And as for bad girls...who doesn't like bad girls? :-)