Sunday, October 31, 2021

Día de Muertos

Growing up, I visited this place nearly never: it was too dark, buried too many bones, sang of too much death for a spirited soul to appreciate; except on the day before All Hallows, when with rice, rum, coconut candies, Bachata music and belly laughs, my life would celebrate my blood.   

bare branches rustle
food and song in the graveyard—
to honor the dead


photo by Attila Lisinszky, on Unsplash

 - when I was a child, my Halloween season was full of papier-mâché and candies, of decked up crosses surrounded by candles, of the very young listening to the very old tell stories of departed souls. I miss those days… and lately, I have wondered if in my family this kind of celebration will end when I do. Sigh.

- for Poets and Storytellers United--Writers’ Pantry #94: Ends and New Beginnings.

33 comments:

  1. That you are ... a spirited soul of the highest degree! A soul-satisfying write for Halloween Day. Enjoy your week, Magaly.

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    1. Thank you, Helen. I hope your Halloween is fun and full of wonderful stories.

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    2. And that your week is even better.

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  2. Never celebrated Haloween neither as a child nor as an adult; even though i share
    lots of celebratory words in my poems around this time.

    Happy Sunday

    Much💜love

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    1. Not everyone can be as lucky as I am. 🪦👻😉

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  3. “with rice, rum, coconut candies, Bachata music and belly laughs, my life would celebrate my blood” ... this and the haiku—gorgeous <3

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    1. Thank you, precious! So glad you liked it.

      P.S. Is your blog still active? I can't find it. Please email me the link.

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  4. I love this post Magaly. The spirit of today in words of beauty and your life.

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  5. Happy Halloween, my friend.
    love & magic...
    ~*~

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  6. Celebrate them all! Blessings to you!

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  7. We don't have a Halloween tradition in this country, though in recent years we've copied it from America (as we do many things) but I think without fully understanding it. You make it sound quite wonderful when it's a deeply embedded part of the culture.

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    1. I'm trying to think if I thought of the celebrations as wonderful when I was a child... Nah, I think they just felt natural.

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  8. I worry about that last line a lot with lots of things, like writing letters, keeping photo albums, making turkey dinner on Thanksgiving. I grew up in MA next to a cemetery. I didn't find it spooky, just the building were it was said to store bodies over winter when the ground was frozen.

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    1. I was just talking with my nephew about writing letters by hand. We are planning to start writing to each other... Let's see how it goes!

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  9. rum, i love rum!
    There is not much of a tradition of celebrating Halloween here among the locals, perhaps only by the American community here. But i think the fun is slowly picking up here especially by the younger families.
    The closest equivalent to our tradition is perhaps qingming, when we visit our family graves to clean them and give offerings.

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    1. Your qingming is much closer to our Día de las Ánimas celebration in the village I grew up. We, too, would go clean the graves and bring offerings. We also decorated the home shrines on that day.

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  10. I grew up across from a cemetery, so we played in it often. which I guess isn't very honoring of those interred ~

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    1. I think play is a wonderful (and lively) way to celebrate the dead.

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  11. I think our Halloween over here in the US could probably benefit from the incorporation of some of that bachata music.

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  12. I enjoy learning how other people live, their cultures. We are all so different.

    I was raised to respect the dead and I never feared cemeteries but hold them in reverence. We have many Indian burial mounds where I grew up and I was taught to treat it as well as if they were my ancestors.

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    1. I never feared cemeteries either, I just thought that they focused too much on death and not enough on the lives of the people buried in them.

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  13. "except on the day before All Hallows, when with rice, rum, coconut candies, Bachata music and belly laughs, my life would celebrate my blood"

    i get that, we carry our heritage forward. i know a lot of my own famaly tradition have fallen off over the last few decades, and i should look at what we still have and make i try to carry them forward. very well said magaly

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    1. I think that we are, in a way, lucky to be able to keep our traditions alive. Lucky because we can add our own person bits.

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  14. Perfect haiku. But your real memories are even better. It should be like that everywhere. Love and affection, sharing, remembering together, having happy times. Makes me feel good just reading about it.

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    1. I wish it would be like that. In my home, it's usually just my Piano Man, the Boy, and I. This year I ventured to invite my brother, but he converted to Christianity when he got married and no longer celebrates like we used to. It's very sad to me.

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  15. Your haibun and the accompanying photo both paint a vivid and beautiful image about honouring the dead. I especially love the telling of stories by the old to the young, because I think this way the departed will never be forgotten.

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    1. The telling of stories and the food are my favorite bits, too.

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  16. I've never found graveyards to be overly sad places. So much living has been done by the people there. What I find sad is all the stories that have been lost and the souls who are no longer remembered.

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    1. I think that is how graveyards should be, a celebration of all the living the ones buried there lived. But they are often so solemn... And I agree, the lost of stories and memories is the saddest bit.

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