Thursday, October 29, 2009
Altar and private moments
(image of skulls I decorated for our altar piece)
Today, we went to set up our public altar.
No photos yet, but I promise to have some here on Saturday evening (we rushed out and forgot the camera in the studio).
It feels funny to make our altar public.
I know it is done in the streets of Mexico...but I feel strange having my dad's photo, and Sergio's grand dad's photo there...in the middle of the huge gallery space.
The altar we have at home just sort of "became" all on its own. I found a cool old wooden paintbox, opened it up, and left it on the dresser. I placed some pretty shells in it and dried flowers. One day, I placed my dad's picture in it, along with several of my grandmother's old photos. My old childhood wooden cross also found it's place there along with an old perfume bottle.
Then, I met Sergio, and talking with him about altars I realized I already had one!
When he moved in, we put his grandfather's letter and book in the box.
One day, we decided to place candles for them on Christmas eve.
On and on.... the rituals grew.
But it is entirely different to take the very personal to a public space. Even as I write this, I feel compelled to go over to the gallery and take their photos down.
Perhaps when we go on Saturday... I may.
Altars and shrines are a way to pay tribute to those loved ones that have passed. An altar, whether public or private is a sacred place where ceremonies take place with respect for the deceased... but even as we set out a plate with cookies for our altar -believe it or not- a dog came to sniff at the plate (!).
below: photo of tiny skeletons I decorated with paper,