Late October/early November Mexico weather is warm and stormy by day, which a friend suggested seems like a good name for a cocktail. Indeed, warm and stormy is an ideal combination. While most ducked beneath the shelter of their resorts' bars, I took advantage of deserted beaches, and let the warm rain fall down on me. With cloud cover, there is little need for sunscreen and my walk left me feeling elated and purified. Negatively charged ions anyone?
Along my walk I encountered this incredible Lesser Yellow Headed Vulture consuming a dead fish. It is all part of the cycle of life and death. Many people thing vultures are scary or gross, but this one was absolutely gorgeous with his rainbow colored head. Whoever named it "yellow head" clearly lacked imagination, or maybe they lacked color receptors.
And of course the purpose of my journey south of the border was to bring my art to a wedding. The bride had been experiencing the usual chaos that happens before a wedding, so getting to sit down for a few hours and receive the henna was hopefully very relaxing for her. Can you find her husband's name in her palms?
The bride and groom had the delightful idea of a Masquerade themed mehndi party due to their event falling on Halloween. Everyone looked so mysterious with their colorful Indian outfits, and ornate masks, especially the bride, but due to being mobbed for henna all night long I didn't even get to capture one snapshot. So you'll have to use your imagination! The bride's mehndi came out incredibly dark and I'm looking forward to seeing the wedding photos, taken by her best friend/photographer. As much as I love doing henna, it is energetically pretty exhausting for me, so I decided to head south to visit my friends in Tulum. Before doing that, I had to snap one last shot of my feet, these feet that take me to amazing places, these feet that carry me home safely on a moonlit beach after work, these feet that have no sense of borders or limitations.
Once I arrived in Tulum, everyone was talking about Dia de Los Muertos. Supposedly, on these two days (November 1st and 2nd) the veil between worlds is so thin, that one can access their ancestors and those who have passed away before their time. Death is discussed almost casually here, and it's accepted that life, much like henna, is impermanent in some ways, but eternal in others. The maid at my friend's place nonchalantly told me she was building an altar in her home, for her son who died at age 3. He had fallen from a roof. It seems almost inconceivable to talk about a tragedy with such an easygoing tone, and it's something she will never ever forget, and yet, in that way, he lives on forever, as an angelito. Later that night my friend and her 5 year old son built an altar together, and a few others added things to it for our own friends and family who had passed through to the other side this year. It was a quiet evening, we had some wine, and talked in Spanish about relationships, our familias, our pets, and though it wasn't spoken, we were all so grateful to be alive and in that moment. The heart made of marigold petals was completed by a candle with a textured glass, which gave the heart rays beaming out. Life, and death, is good.