If you’ve been following my blog for at least a year, then you know of my love affair with October; hands down the best month for celebrations! On the list to celebrate are: Fall, an anniversary, my birthday, my self-appointed New Year’s, Halloween, and – which carries the joy into November by a week. October activities include, planting tons of flowers, camping, Fall purging (like spring cleaning), building my Day of the dead alter, and making special jewelry for the holiday. I love October so much, I could marry it. And this just might be the dress I’d wear.
It’s made out of paper!- wood block prints and papel picado. I like it because the dress looks both Indian and Mexican in design.
What is there not to love about this, the tenth month? The minutia of the change of seasons is fascinating enough; the colors of change in leaves and landscape everywhere you look- from the ground to the trees and sky. The winds come, the first rains and storms of the season along with cooler and shorter days, and with it all comes that desire to pull in— to conserve energy.
This year, I feel a need to un-scatter, to nest and read more—in short, to slow down and make ready for the encroaching cold and darkness. To some this may all sound dismal and macabre, but I feel the natural resistance of inertia- just before the inevitable turn of the wheel; the spiral on its way to something new. Thus, my need to clear some head space, to simplify, to un-clutter my studio and make room for it. Whatever “it” will be.
October holds my ‘New Year’s day’ because I tend to tether down my dreams into goals and plans around my birthday, instead of in January. So when the birthday comes, more than tripping about age, I check in (sometimes reluctantly) about whether I got anywhere in the dreaming department. If not, no worries- I have about 75 days before Jan. 1 to do something about it; to either jump start, finish, or fine-tune what I hoped to do.
We’ve been planting lots lately. Thankfully, Oakland is temperate; bulbs are confused and are coming up again, and we can plant winter gardens now. In preparation for Dia de Los Muertos, Day of the Dead festivities, I plant as many marigolds as possible, inside and out of the house. Besides brightening up the place- they will decorate my alter again this year. Why marigolds for the Day of the Dead holiday?
“Flowers, symbolizing the brevity of life, are massed and fashioned into garlands, wreaths and crosses to decorate the altar… The marigold is the most traditional flower of the season. In Aztec times it was called the cempasuchil, the “flower of 400 lives.” The fragrance of the cempasuchil leads the spirits home… (www.mexconnect.com) http://www.mexconnect.com/articles/1427
Other links to explore:
- Marigold Garland For Día De Los Muertos – Garden Design Magazine (apartmenttherapy.com)
- Making your own Papel Picado