sometimes paradise is el dia de los muertos

The following video beautifully exemplifies the meaning and celebration of Dia de Los Muertos or Day of the Dead. It is a 2013 CGI Student Academy Award Gold Medal Winner Short Film HD: “Dia De Los Muertos” from Whoo Kazoo.!!

When I moved to Mexico, I became enamoured with the Mexican celebration of Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead. Despite, its rather gloomy sounding name, Dia de los Muertos is a joyful celebration.! Family members and friends gather with food and drink to remember, honor, and pray for their deceased loved ones. Basically, they invite the deceased back into their lives for an annual visit.

The holiday is celebrated October 31, November 1st, and November 2nd and is tied to the Christian traditions of All Hallow’s Eve, All Saint’s Day, and All Soul’s Day. However, it also has origins dating back to the Aztecs and their worship of the goddess Mictacacihuatl or the Lady of the Dead. Modern Catrina dolls symbolize the Lady of the Dead. Special foods beloved by the deceased, sugar skulls, and marigolds are placed on makeshift altars in homes and cemetaries to entice the spirits of the dead to return.! Hanal Pixán, or Food for the Souls, is also celebrated by the Yucatec Mayans at the same time.!!

Typically, October 31st, honors infants and children, and is called Dia de los Inocentes or the Day of Innocents. While, November 1st, honors adults and is referred to as Dia de los Muertos. I believe the reason this holiday struck a chord with me is because I have lost my mother and my brother. When my brother passed away 17 years ago, it was such a traumatic experience for my family.

In the beginning, we used to buy him presents for Christmas and his birthday and leave them at the cemetary. We would also bring him a slice of birthday cake. It’s not like we baked a whole cake for him. My brothers were/are twins, so we were making one anyway. It was easy just to bring a piece to his gravesite too.

But I remember, upon seeing this grief and mourning activity from my family, my brother-in-law told us, “You and your family are very tangible mourners.” That comment always struck a chord with me because in my mind I could not understand another way to mourn. My brother had always been in my life, how could I now just stop celebrating who he was and what he meant to me.? I could not. Nor could I when my mother passed away six years later.

So, when I discovered that in Mexico there is actually a holiday that tangibly mourns, remembers, and honors their deceased – I felt like I had come home. I was actually living in a country that understood my grief and was not afraid of it. And not only that they understood, but they too called out to their loved ones. Even though I am no longer in Mexico, I will remember my family tomorrow. Tomorrow also happens to be my father’s 75th birthday. So I will also be celebrating my dad tomorrow.! But I will remember to leave an extra piece of cake for my brother and my mom at the table 🙂

Enjoy the video.!! And Happy Halloween too.!!

sometimes paradise is endless…

courtesy of

courtesy of

What a great photo to dream about the future and the endless possibilities of your life.!! Happy Thursday everyone.! Enjoy your daydreams 🙂

sometimes paradise is a love song part 4…

No Me Doy Por Vencido” by Luis Fonsi is the first song I learned to sing in Spanish.!! For some reason, the song was easy for me to learn. The words and the cadence all worked to improve my Spanish. I actually think somewhere I have a video of me singing this song in a Mexican karaoke bar.!! jajajajaja… But I will spare you all the gruesome details 🙂 This song holds many happy memories for me. I hope you enjoy it too.!

I Don’t Give Up

“I stay silent
I am like an sleeping boy
Who can wake up
With just a noise
When you least expected it
When I least imagined it
I know one day I won’t hold myself and I will go and I look at you

And I say it calling out to you
And you laugh and you take me as crazy
Because you don’t know how long in my dreams you have lived
Nor you suspect when I named you

I, I don’t give up
I want a world with you
I swear it’s worth the wait, and wait and wait with a sigh
For a sign from destiny
I don’t get tired, I don’t give up, I don’t surrender

I have flower in my pocket
Withered of searching for a woman to love me
And its scent until the spring comes
And teaches me what I had not learned about life
Which shines more each day,
Because I am just a step away of winning the joy
Because the heart rises like an raging storm
Since that moment I saw you

I, I don’t give up
I want a world with you
I swear it’s worth the wait, and wait and wait with a sigh
For a sign from destiny
I don’t get tired, I don’t give up, I don’t surrender

This silence hides too much words
I don’t stop, whatever happens I will follow

I, I don’t give up
I want a world with you
I swear it’s worth the wait, and wait and wait with a sigh
For a sign from destiny
I don’t get tired, I don’t give up, I don’t surrender”

sometimes paradise is mamitas…

courtesy of

courtesy of

The original beach club in Playa del Carmen.!! And it is still one of the best places in playa to be and be seen at.!!

Mamita’s also lays claim to being on the list of top 5 beaches in Playa del Carmen. Not a bad place to be.!! But even if you can’t be there today…enjoy your weekend my friends 🙂

sometimes paradise is chingona…

cancun airport

My friend P. took this photo flying over Cancun International Airport.! It’s just beautiful.! Or as one of her friends said, “Chingona foto.” I couldn’t have said it better myself.! Lol…. 🙂

For everyone who doesn’t know what chingona (f.) or chingon (m.) means, Urban Dictionary defines it as – a word used in Mexico for a “really fuckin’ cool girl or guy.” Or in this case, a foto (f.). 🙂

sometimes paradise is a love song part 3…

I fell in love with this song back in the spring of 2012. It was so fun and light and it was a good song to practice my Spanish on 🙂 Plus I really liked the dance at the end of the video. And I secretly wanted the dress Marta Sanchez is wearing.!! Oh yeah, and Carlos Baute is cute….jajaja

“Maybe it was no coincidence for us to meet
Maybe this was destiny.
I want to fall asleep in your chest again
and then be awakened by your kisses.

Your sixth sense still dreams of me,
I know that we will be together soon.
Your naughty smile lives with me,
I know I will soon be in your way.

You know that I am hanging in your hands
so do not let me fall
You know I am hanging in your hands.

I sent you hand written poems
I sent you songs by 4:40
I send you pictures of us dinning in Marbella
and of our trip to Venezuela.
So that you remember me and remember that my heart is hanging in your hands.
Be careful, careful, I will not lose hope of being with you.
I want to taste all the forbidden in you
I want to catch the dusk kissing all of your tenderness
My girl, my life, I need you”

sometimes paradise is a doble arco iris…

courtesy of

courtesy of Foto: Christian Ventura

“Lluvia y doble arco iris, así iniciamos el día hoy.! Rain and a double rainbow, so we started the day today.!” – Soy Playense.

This was the magical scene in Playa del Carmen yesterday.!! Not one but TWO rainbows 🙂

courtesy of P.S.

courtesy of P.S.