A Moveable Ofrenda

Now it seems the serious part of each year ends in October. That would be the third quarter, helpfully. It is in early October that HallowGivingChristHolidays begin. This rapidly evolving season is preceded by Pumpkin Spice Szn, with it’s fetish object Pumpkin Spice Latte or #PSL. During this prelude, one is expected to work, but not until posting a pic of the office gang with their #PSLs on LinkedIn.

Relax. I’m fine with all of this.

I don’t celebrate Third Quarter Holidays too much. There are many reasons, including loss of faith, lack of small children in my life, and cats (so forget decorating).

However, after many years, something solidified for me yesterday. Yes, yesterday, at about noon. It shook me pretty badly and required an afternoon in bed.

So our Third Quarter Holidays (#TQH! Or, actually, let’s not) start with Spooky Season in early October, because one day cannot contain all of the facets of Halloween anymore (Bat earrings! Horror movie marathons! Collecting detrius for a super clever costume!). I think HallowMonth is now about expressing and catharsis, a chance to either show your hidden side or succumb to what is scary and disgusting in order to flush it out of our systems. This theory is a work in progress.

I am so grateful that Dia de los Muertos is becoming an intergral part of Halloween. Remembrance is to me a proper third-quarter activity, as before we can proceed we must review. Dia is wonderful because it is so welcoming — we are invited to mourn anyone we miss.

I wanted to set up an ofrenda on my patio. I hesitate to do so inside because of the cats. But I did not get far with my altar. The weather turned cold and I did not think through the best way to display photos outside. And photos, to me, were necessary in order to draw me into the space I wanted to be.

Dia de los Muertos is quickly followed by Thanksgiving, although the calendar leads you to believe you have more time than you do. Here are the last weeks of the year to accomplish goals, finish projects, have those meetings. Because as of the Monday of Thanksgiving week, work is done for the year. And here we are on December 2. Happy Holidays!

But wait. I am not done mourning and remembering, even though, in the culture I live in, that time has passed. We are on to joy and cocktail parties now! Show the world that you are jolly!

Not yet, please. Because my mouring time is after Thanksgiving. Something happened this week a long time ago, and while it was not a tragedy, it was an end of a situation that it turns out was a huge part of my life. This is can see now, a few decades later.

Early December should be set aside on my calendar as a week of as much rest as possible. What can be scheduled for another time should be. I have used this time in the past to get suited up mentally for the seasonal affective disorder which will come at me in mid-January and linger often into April, now (due to climate change more than my mental state).

And as I think about an ofrenda, I think of creating one that is more compact than the one I imagined on my patio. I have seen some beautiful examples of these, and I certainly can create something meaningful and available at all times. And cat proof.

Photo credit: Me, but thanks to neighbors in Pilsen for the ofrenda.

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