“Funeral” embroidery on rubber, altered photograph. 2014 (private collection)
“How many women would laugh at funerals of their husbands if it were not the custom to cry!” (quote from the book: Women, Wedlock and the world)
It’s almost time for Halloween. Unfortunately it is not a huge celebration in South Africa- as far as I know, not like others celebrate it in other countries, and especially not in small little towns like ours, but it’s okay. I do wish we celebrated the “Day of the Dead”.
Frances Ann Day summarizes the three-day celebration, the Day of the Dead—
On October 31, All Hallows Eve, the children make a children’s altar to invite the angelitos (spirits of dead children) to come back for a visit. November 1 is All Saints Day, and the adult spirits will come to visit. November 2 is All Souls Day, when families go to the cemetery to decorate the graves and tombs of their relatives. The three-day fiesta filled with marigolds, the flowers of the dead; muertos (the bread of the dead); sugar skulls; cardboard skeletons; tissue paper decorations; fruit and nuts; incense, and other traditional foods and decorations.
—Frances Ann Day, Latina and Latino Voices in Literature
I do not know why it’s the custom here in S.A to cry over the deceased rather than celebrate the life lived by that person…
August is my month of celebrations!
These celebrations started on Woman’s day the 9th of August. We made our way to a small town to celebrate a friend’s birthday. My friend K and I share the same date of birth (but she was born in the 80’s and I in 1977).
On Sunday when we returned home our neighbour invited us for cake since she was celebrating her date of birth.
Then on Monday I celebrated my grandmother’s birthday. (Unfortunately “ouma Elsie is not around anymore). I was told that they (the family) hoped that I would arrive on her date of birth, but instead the stork dropped me off a day later.
We buried or newly tamed cat on this day as well. We found her in one of our water tanks. Not sure how she managed to fall in, but she drowned. My heart was broken. Strangely enough the children handled her death well….E cried a bit, and decided that he will go and get some flowers to put on her grave. He said to me: “Don’t worry mom, I’ll catch another cat and then you would not be so sad anymore.”
Note to self: fix the water tank ASAP.
Yesterday I launched my website. Partly as a birthday gift to myself, but more because I made a promise to have it launched before I turned 36…..so here we go:
It’s not 100% like I wanted it to be. forever a work in progress. I enjoyed doing it, to a certain extent, but glad its sort of finished. I just need to add some dimensions to the individual works. I am open to constructive criticism, and wonder if the site is easy to navigate and i wonder if the photos take a long time to open.
I would still like to have a professional photographer documenting my work one day, as well as a professional website-builder, but until that day, this will have to do…..