Day of the Dead –
Paths of flower petals and
burning incense guide
spirits to the house of the living.
Tables with favorite food and drink.
orange and yellow flowers,
all offered to the spirits.
Then the living go to
graves of the dead.
Custom says ill fortune, illness
death or worse
those who make no offerings.
Who will decorate my grave?
Who will bring me food?
Who will talk to me?
Cremation may be best for me.
For more on the traditions of the Day of the Dead check out this website.
Loren Rhoads just published on her blog a piece that I wrote, “Crossed Fingers,” about a cemetery in Texas. She has an outstanding blog and is an impressive author. Check out her blog & my piece here and also check out her other writings at lorenrhoads.com
The admonition floats to the surface of my consciousness like the command of an angel as I see the cemetery ahead on the left. The child within me obediently crosses the middle finger over the index finger of both hands. I continue to drive my car along the freeway at 70 miles per hour.
When I traveled with my family as a child, the females in the car crossed their fingers while passing a cemetery. Father did not participate. Either an older sister or my mother would warn of an approaching cemetery and we would all cross our fingers. I confess that I still do it after these years, even though I know it is foolish. While driving alone, I can boldly cross them without fear of derision. When traveling with fellow passengers…
Cover of “Travels With My Aunt,” by Graham Greene,The Folio Society edition with introduction by John Mortimer
Henry Pulling, the main character in Graham Greene’s 1969 novel, “Travels With My Aunt,” chose to travel to Paris with his septuagenarian Aunt Augusta. The book begins in London at the funeral/cremation of Henry’s mother, Aunt Augusta’s sister. He had not seen her since he was a child. Graham Greene, author of darker novels – “The Power and the Glory” for example – actually had a lighter side to him as displayed in this funny novel. Check out two of my posts, Graham Greene and the Anglo-Texan Society and Next Year in London!
Henry, who never married, had retired early from a bank due to bank take-over and spent his days quietly cultivating dahlias. When Aunt Augusta invites him to travel with her first to Brighton and then to Paris and Istanbul via the Orient Express, he accepts. Henry is rather shocked at his aunt’s frank attitude toward sex at her age and is not sure if what she carries across borders in her luggage is legal. Travel on the Orient Express awakens Henry’s passion when he meets an unconventional young woman.
Oh, yes, before they set out on their travels, the police take away the urn containing the ashes of Henry’s mother because they suspect it may contain a strong mixture of cannabis. The adventures end in Paraguay. It is pure entertainment all the way!
Henry, Aunt Augusta and Wordsworth -Book illustration by John Holder