So the book I was reading yesterday is about Mexican’s relationship with death.
I started reading it because grandpops was dying and death was on my mind often. Death really started popping into my head when grandma died. I was scared for a while. Then I was a numb to the idea. No I’m in an appreciation type of mind.
Anyway, the book asks why Mexicans have an unusual familiarity with death. We celebrate the Day of the Dead. We treat death as a normal part of life, almost as equally valuable as life. It’s strange. As someone who grew up in the USA, I couldn’t relate to the examples in the book. So, today after dinner I asked my parents about the Day of the Dead. I asked if they did anything when they were in Mexico. What they did and why.
We talked for a long time. They told me how they set the table with the dead’s favorite foods and drinks. They told me how they cleaned up the cemetery. They told me lots of stories. My dad is adamant that it’s all about religion. I don’t think so.
I think the familiarity with death comes from the experiences of the Mexican people. Specifically, I think the combination of constant suffering, from the European conquest of the Americas to the second Mexican Revolution, and personal contact with death resulting in this familiarity with death. Even after the modernization of Mexico, there was little national success to change the mentality of Mexicans. Suffering was less severe but constantly present. Death offered a better alternative to life.
I’ll still read the book, but I will definitely be more critical. I wonder what arguments the author will make. I wonder if it’ll change my mind on anything.
Also, I was back in the office today, which left me to comfortably listen to music all day. I ran through some Young the Giant, Childish Gambino, and Arctic Monkeys. It was a great time.
A ship in port is safe; but that is not what ships are built for. -Grace Hopper, computer scientist and US Navy Rear Admiral (1906-1992)