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Travel, Early Retirement

and Contemplation Page

Hola, hello, sawasdee, bonjour, nihao! Welcome everyone from everywhere.

We still live in Queretaro, Mexico

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DIA DE MUERTOS/Day of the Dead

My heart was touched this year by Mexico's Day of the Dead commemorations. (Last year, due to the pandemic, city governments cancelled all public programs and festivities.) Long before the set up and decorating of family and public altars, traditional markets, florists, and bakeries sold necessary items. Building a memorial Day of the Dead altar often becomes an elaborate affair.

Huge public altars are raised to honor significant locals, from long ago historical figures to popular creative personalities who've died relatively recently.

A Queretaro Center for the Arts built an altar to victims of Covid19. The sign in front of the altar said: This altar of offerings is dedicated to all those who died of Covid19 during the health emergency of 2020 and 2021 which in Mexico amounted to more than 290,000 and in Queretaro more than five thousand deaths. May this offering, conceived and designed by Manuel Oropeza, an important exhibition specialist of this city, ilumine the paths to eternity for those who no longer accompany us and offer comfort to the living who remember and miss them.

Below are also two photos of more traditional altars that you might see in private homes.

A modern spin on a Day of the Dead altar (in a contemporary art museum) by an artist in memory of Paula de Allende, a poet and dynamic arts benefactor. The title of the installation piece/altar is Never Still. The artist of the altar used as inspiration a fragment of a poem, Mas Alla de Tu Ausencia, by Paula de Allende:

Beyond Your Absence

Let me say

That along with the scar left by your absence

You also bequeath me an apple summer,

The warm aroma of baked bread,

My first time with a tender death,

A wide path of birch trees,

A breeze from the open sea which whispers your name

And speaks of places where the wind arises.

(translation by me)

Remembrance of and honoring the dead is a sacred tradition practiced by many around the world. When wandering around Weishan, Yunnan, China in 2012 we came across a Ghost honoring and feeding ceremony in a temple:

In the USA one might visit a graveyard and possibly leave a token of love for one who has left us.