Monday, October 27, 2008

Halloween Piece - Dia de Los Muertos Picnic

Statement of Purpose:

On Why This Day in October is to be Spent on a Lighthearted Outing

I think it is safe to say that Halloween is and probably always will be my favorite holiday. In an attempt to track down when exactly this infatuation began, I called my mother earlier this week. The only response she could supply was simply “You have always been that way.” At two years old she took me decoration shopping with. Given the choice between the image of the teddy bear in the bat suit of the teddy bear in the pumpkin suit, I opted for the revolting and malicious looking witch in the corner. She hung on our front door for the duration of the season and at the end of October I refused to allow my parents to take her down. Subsequently she migrated to my bedroom wall where she remained for the next six months. Halloween in all its macabre and camp glory is an intrinsic part of my personality for which I have no explanation. I cannot clearly verbalize what it is that attract me to this holiday but it s quality which intrigues me regardless of the actual season is its morbid sense of theatricality. There is something inherently dramatic about death. It is our one guarantee in life, that it will end. It has a weightiness and finality which pales all other topics by comparison. But conversely, it is because of this very importance and in turn the awareness of this importance that it is a topic in constant danger of collapsing in on itself and becoming merely a mockery of the issue it is trying to address. Weighed down by its own monumentality, this heavy issue becomes a clumsy, stagnant idea, throwing into sharp relief the opposite end of the spectrum, the insubstantial, the momentary, the unintended. In a paradoxical manner, having sought such close quarters with this concept of death, I find these days that only that which means nothing becomes capable of conveying any meaning at all. Death, drama, weight, demand our attention and when it is demanded we lose our ability to bestow it as we see fit. Only those events, those happenings, those accidents which present themselves to us unobtrusively are able to contain unique and personal meaning because it is our choice to allot them significance rather than having it thrust upon us by the very nature of the subject matter. This lack of expectation allows the meaning to manifest itself. It is the difference between living and being alive, contemplation and action, observation and participation. And that was really my wish for this afternoon, though by declaring it I have destroyed any possibility of its occurrence. A picnic, a brief and frivolous event in a cemetery, the archetypal landscape of drama and death, the creations of a small and insignificant moment in which we can find ourselves alive rather that living.

No comments:

Post a Comment