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Electroencephalographically Challenged
November 9th, 2010 by Les

“Being a president is like running a cemetery; you’ve got a lot of people under you and nobody’s listening.”  President Bill Clinton

“Most people can’t bear to sit in a church for an hour on Sundays.  How are they supposed to live somewhere very similar to it for eternity?”  Mark Twain

It’s funny, I’ve lived a goodly number of years being brain-wave challenged, sort of like the porch light is on but extremely dim.  If I were to wait for the light to go on, I’d have been sitting in the dark for most of my time, so far, on this earth.  Consequently, I plunge forward throwing caution to the wind and hurtling myself into whatever unplanned event might be in store for me.  This can be particularly disconcerting to anyone who might be with me when this happens, like David.  Between his photographic genius and wonder lust and my inept yet constantly intrigued interest in everything that can be seen or heard here in our little village of Ajijic, is it any wonder we are bombarding you, our dear readers, with blog after blog of fantastic photography and inane writings?

I once went to a funeral for someone who died unexpectedly.  Not that we all don’t eventually expect to expire; this guy was in the prime of his life.  He was not an individual one would think for whom the specter of death would have loomed large.  The whole mortality thing was quite vexing to all of us as many of us were eons older then our deceased friend.  The inevitable question each mourner found themselves asking, as they stopped to pay their respects at his funeral:  “what happened?” was heard whispered repeatedly over the other murmurs in the room.  None were prepared to hear the explanation the sincere loved ones shared with each of the equally sincere people who asked.  He was fatally engrossed in the Journal/Sentinel (newspaper) and didn’t see or hear the eighteen wheeler before it hit him.  Of course, everyone wanted desperately to ask what he had been reading. 

It turns out; he was reading a quote from Carl Hiaasen’s book “Star Island” talking about the Calusas (aka Shell Indians of Florida) wherein they were depicted as “badass magnificent”.  The quote went on to say: “They decapitated their enemies and also invented the custom of mooning, which was first used to insult Spanish missionaries”.

As I mentioned in my last blog, along with the photographs David took of the parade held on October 31, 2010 for the Day of the Dead, we visited a cemetery with some of our friends, to pay our respects and watch David shoot some pictures of the celebrations taking place there.  The Day of the Dead activities start on October 31st and run through November 2nd.

As this is considered a holiday, whole families were at the cemetery working on the areas in which their loved ones had been laid to rest.  Though perplexing to me, the combination of both the Catholic faith and these somewhat pagan beliefs is a tradition combining the Catholic holidays of All Saint’s Day (November 1st) and All Soul’s Day (November 2nd) and the Day of the Dead, which is October 31st.

All of the emotions I witnessed as we traveled through the cemetery reminded me of a common practice people in the States have when dealing with the death of a loved one.  Often the family will gather together after a loved one has passed, sometimes with the help of a pastor, priest, rabbi, etc to reminisce and share stories.  As stories are shared, laughter and tears mingle while people share heart warming tales of their lives with this loved one now heaven bound.  The sharing of these wonderful stories give wings to the love and caring these people have for the departed and are believed to be the first steps in the healing process.

The Mexican people share these memories each year during the celebrations that are held from October 31st to November 2nd.  There is much love and many tears combined with thoughts and prayers and, at times, conversations with those who have gone before them.  Below are some of the photographs David took as these gentle people allowed us to catch a glimpse into their “joy” in lives now departed that had touched their hearts. 

I do not know if this is true however Fedirico Garcia Lorca said: “In Span as in Mexico, the dead are more alive than the dead of any other country in the world”.  Truism or not, I would be hard put to disagree after spending the Day of the Dead in Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico.  Viva Mexico!

The beginning of our tour of a local cemetery in Ajijic, Mexico during the Day of the Dead celebrations.

Each resting place uniquely capturing feelings of those celebrating the life of their loved ones.

This broken cross just caught my eye.

Though some could not afford much, a gentle spray of flowers adorns this unmarked grave.

What a beautiful mixture of colors.

A little more ornate resting place. Yes, that is a poinsettia tree in the foreground.

Another more ornate resting place.

The headstones are interesting.

The mountains in the background add majesty and wonder.

Another headstone.

Another unique resting place. The photograph also gives you an idea of the pathways used to get to each site.

More color mixed in with the lush green surroundings.

A gentle remembrance of a loved one missed.

Yet another site with the beautiful mountains in the background.

An interesting headstone.

I leave you with this shot David took, not in the cemetery but in the home of some friends, prior to leaving to visit the cemetery. A piece of art work hanging on the wall captured in this fascinating manor.

Visit the BoomerstoMexico Photo Store at http://boomerstomexico.com/mexico-photos/ , to see more of the beauty of Ajijic Mexico in David’s photos.  David’s latest piece exhibiting now at the Ajijic Society of the Arts show can be seen more closely when you visit the online store. 


3 Responses  
  • Les writes:
    November 9th, 20109:05 pmat

    The guy stepped off of the curb into traffic, Susie.

    Erin, what you’ve said is so true. Wow, talk about reservations … 3 plots in 2 cities!

    Thanks for both of your comments.

  • Susie writes:
    November 9th, 20108:33 pmat

    Was the guy reading the newspaper in the middle of the road or what; that’s what I wanna know?

  • Elin Lawrence writes:
    November 9th, 20107:25 pmat

    So many people in the US hardly ever visit their family plot or cemetery. What a beautiful Mexican tradition to honor the dead and enjoy family and friends while doing so. In this day and ago with families living all over the world, the family plot concept really is changing. There is room for my remains in 3 cemeteries, 2 in NY and one in CT, but hopefully when my time has come my ashes will be spread in the ocean , a place I love.


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