Dangerous Compassions

drumming procession

Hey, how are you doing?  At the Day of the Dead fest, this drumming procession thrilled me.  I smiled and stood up to dance as they passed.  The dudes in the front looked at me weird, like, “Who is this ecstatic, dancing fat woman?” which is just fine with me.

drumming procession

I asked Ming to take my phone and run in front of them, to take a video of the drumming procession.  He was happy to do that for me, and he took two videos, one much better than the other.  I put the winner on youtube, less than a minute.  Please enjoy.

I like the duskiness, the gorgeous costumes, the beats and rattle sounds, the attitude, the spectacle of it.  How the procession trails off.  The dude carrying the train of a dress–then the next fancy dress, with its train uncarried.  The lady with the rainstick who smiles.

How does Ming know when to stop the video?  It reminds me of my homeland–children on razor scooters.  I giggle when I see the kid with the death balloon.  More death balloons, please!  It’s a delightful depiction of a deeply fun event, and I’m so grateful to have made that ofrenda.  And to my patient friend Ariel for bringing me to night two of the event, so I could visit for myself.


I thought it would be too much, and I could only stay for a short time, but I lingered, happy.  Ariel was ready to go before I was.  She was so kind to me.  My senses were delighted.  I loved seeing the different altars and breathing the incense.

The day of the dead is my aesthetic.  And honoring the truth of death is my value.  I live here in the world of the living, but the world of the dead is my world also.  Now that my mom is on the other side, the other side is incredibly important to me.  I was connecting to culture in ways I wanted to soak up, healing.

Feels good to mail off to friends the cardstock color photocopies of art that were on my ofrenda.  I feel happy to share pieces of what’s sacred to me, to disperse the beautiful joy.

Thank you again to Ming for making it possible.  Your hard work is amazing, what you do for love.  My phone was filling up, so I was glad to finally upload the drumming procession video so I could delete it from my phone.  Love to our journeys here and elsewhere.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.