Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Laughing at Death

I have always loved art associated with Día de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead). I think the juxtaposition of morbid skulls and vibrant colorful patterns is really amazing. I knew a bit about the origins of this holiday, but when I learned about the meaning behind the iconography, I appreciated the art that much more.

My Mom explained that the reason the skulls are so fun and playful is because death is not something to fear, yet something to laugh at. Various faiths teach that life here on earth is not the end, and the best is yet to come.

In contrast to this outlook on death, our culture brings us up to fear it. We dress ourselves in depressing black to attend funerals. We don’t like to talk openly about the dearly departed as if somehow death is contagious. And more often than not our reaction to death is sadness, not joy.

Though I’m definitely not at the point where I feel I could laugh death in the face, I hope to be one day. If on the other side there’s laughter I think I may be less afraid to get there. In the meantime I intend to live, love and laugh my ass off here on Earth. 

Shiny, Happy, Laughing Skulls


No comments:

Post a Comment