07 November 2006

Dia De los Muertos & Brief Notes Politics & otherwise

Election tonight & even in Arizona it looks like Democrats may pick up at least one House seat and one Senate seat. And so far, thankfully, it also appears an anti-gay marriage, anti-civil union rights initiative will go down in defeat.

This past Sunday night was one of the times when it feels like Tucson is a terrific place to be. I wish those times were more frequent, but I'll take them whenever they come. The Dia de los Muertos parade arose about fifteen years ago, largely driven by the artist Sue Johnson and friends, in an attempt to commemorate lost loved ones. It began with some 30 walkers in costume, and just a few people watching. It's turned into a parade with perhaps a thousand participants and several thousand spectators, although one thing I love is that it's difficult to tell one from the other. It's an entirely non-commercial (absolutely every costume seems lovingly handmade), non-focal point parade with a celebration at the end. Anyone who wants can come in costume and walk the route, or not come in costume and walk the route, or decide at any time, costumed or not, to join in, or drop out. And the celebration at the end features several fire/art performances going on at once, a couple of projections of photographs onto large screens, acrobats, balloons, and bands, going on at once. So it's a terrific example of a postmodern or nomadic event, and it's more about being there, within it all, than about seeing any one or several things. And somehow, in a way I can't entirely explain, it lifts a load from you, and you feel absolutely marvelous there. I can't wait until next year.

I was a little disappointed to not notice any of my local poet-friends there. Lots of visual artists, community activists, dancers, performers of all kinds, and more. I like to think the poets were there, too costumed to be identified, and not stuck at home with their books; there's a time for that, but Sunday after Halloween in Tucson is a time to be out on the streets.


At 6:58 AM, Blogger charles said...

& now, morning after election, Arizona did pick up a House seat, making our delegation 4 Dems & 4 Repubs, which is definitely a gain in this state. but the anti-gay marriage initiative, which we gladly thought would be defeated, is said, this morning, to be "too close to call." losing that one would be terrible.

At 1:38 PM, Blogger et said...

the parade sounds beautiful! maybe I will make the trek one of these years, both of my grandparents are buried in Tucson.

love, Elizabeth T

At 8:59 AM, Blogger charles said...

we would welcome you, elizabeth!

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