Sunday, October 30, 2005

Dia De Los Muertos

I believe this is the day after tomorrow, Halloween...or "All Hallowed Eve" It is called that traditionally because November 1st is "All Saints' Day"or "Dia de los Muertos" (Day of the Dead) This is a big one in our Hispanic Cultures...actually here and now, and our neighbors to the south. I especially remember it because it is Brett's birthday and his was an especially hard one. It almost made a "saint" out of his mother. He was way early and almost didn't make it. What a journey he is having! We love him.

I've worked with Hispanic students for many years and now, almost a majority of my R.E. clients are Spanish speaking. I enjoy using my limited vocabulary with them and it helps them understand that I'm trying to be understood as their agent and sales counselor. They get a kick out of my feeble attempts ie. like yesterday, I had to step out of the office and I said, "Yo volvere." They laughed and said, "OK, Arnold" (I'll be back!)

Several years back now, I saw a children's play enacted in Santa Fe, NM. when visiting my sister. It's title: "Dia de los Muertos" It was facinating and I got to talk to the school teachers who had written and produced it. I asked them to send me a copy of the script and the song lyrics etc. They agreed for a fee. I went back and got my new, Spanish-speaking principal. Ley Yeager, to come up with the money. I planned to do a major production of it the next school year. I studied it and had glorious plans. Vista School had the kids who would really appreciate it's topic and theme. That summer, one of my "team teachers", Pat Coffman, suddenly died from brain cancer. We, as a staff, were in shock. I just couldn't do the production. I never went back to it.

What I liked about it and the whole concept was the idea of a "Day to honor our dead ancestors" and remember their best qualities. Remembering their essence and the fact that without them, we wouldn't be who we are, or even be here, is very powerful. This culture is not the only one who honors their elders and ancestors. There is much we can still learn from them, their memories, their values and "their mistakes". Our society is missing out on this wonderfully integrating influence. It gives us an extented identity and someone or thing to "live up to"...granted not all our ancestors are that noble either.

Betty was just cropping and enlarging a picture of her maternal grandfather from a group picture of his family. It is all specked, and sepia with age. When she finished enlarging it for her scrapbook project, she was amazed how much like Clark he appeared. Just loose the mustache and he would be an "older" Clark. He had a medium family, size-wise, for those days, only 5 kids. He was quite handsome. No wonder,...Clark. Pity those of my ancestors who inherit my visage...I wonder how much of our experiences in life shape and contour our faces? They say it takes fewer muscles to smile and laugh than it does to frown and look serious. ;-) Bob!


At 2:35 AM, Blogger BOB! Your Life Preserver said...

"I'll be haunt you!" (spooky laugh)


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