Friday, April 9, 2010

Una vida, muchas muertes - One life, many deaths

I have finally finished my cigar box altar for the Oaxaca Street Childrens Grassroots Auction!  The biggest changes I have made since the last time you saw it was I added some glitter (I love glitter) and put the birds and banner on the top.  I am happy with the way it turned out.  I could have kept going, but I am trying to learn how to stop.
This isn't my first altar.  I made one for my grandmother when she passed away.  It sits above my desk- next to her mocahete (grinding bowl).  It was one of the things I inherited from her tamale shop.  It is one of my treasures.  As an art therapist, I have made many altars with my clients.  I remember an altar I made with a young girl for her father.  It was so powerful.  It took us months to complete.
Anyway,  I call this piece- "una vida, muchas muertes".  I was thinking about the idea of losses as a form of death.  I thought it would be a great art intervention to make an altar around a loss- not of a person, but something else..  The loss of a relationship.  The loss of a friend.  The loss of a dog.   A life is a series of losses...  that sounded kind of melodramatic, but it is true.  From the cutting of the umbilical cord, we begin our lives losing the comfort of the womb.  As a mother, although the birth of my children is this amazing beginning- it is also a loss.  A loss of that incredibly intimacy that goes with carrying a child inside you.  One of my friends is currently dealing with the loss of having her son go away to school.  The losses never end.
These losses are no doubt small compared to the losses that many of the children that Oaxaca Street Children Grassroots provides for.  Even though I can complain and whine about my overwhelm, I understand how deeply blessed I am- and I have always felt that with blessings comes responsibility.  I hope the gift of this altar is helpful.   I will post a link to the official auction on April 16th.  The auction will be held from April 17th -April 24th.  The altars are beautiful!!!  For more information about this amazing project, visit Rebecca's blog at or you can always click on the link in my sidebar.  And don't forget to sign up for my April give away!!!


rebecca said...

your shrine is thrilling! i love it so. welcome to this years promise to help these deserving children in oaxaca!!!

thank you for sharing your story.
for opening your heart to so many.


Flor Larios Art said...

Wow! Super! I love Day of the Dead :)

Faerie Moon Creations said...

This is such an amazing piece of artwork. You did an excellent job.
Thank you for sharing the thought and meaning behind it. :) Theresa

priti.lisa said...

Your shrine is gorgeous...too much of a good thing is never enough...
I really enjoyed this post, your feelings and stories...
My shrine is ready to go too,
I am excited, this is my first year participating.

Caya-Papaya said...

thanks everybody:-)

Just Me Again said...

Gorgeous shrine and post!

Cory said...

Love your alter...I so wanted to participate again in this event,but "stuff" got in the way. I am so glad that so many's for a very good cause. Bless you for the wonderful gift of art.

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