Friday, November 1, 2013

The Feast of All Saints for Writers, Artists, and Other Creative Types

Halloween, All Hallows Eve--have you thought about how we came to have that holiday?  Have you thought about Halloween as All Saints Eve?  Today is the Feast of All Saints. Traditionally, this day celebrates the saints who have gone on before us. Traditionalists would not approve of what this church festival has become. Most churches celebrate All Saints Day as the day we celebrate the lives of all our loved ones who have died, whether they were consistently saintly or not. Traditionalists would only celebrate the lives of the truly beatified and the lives of those martyred for the faith.  Many modern churches will take this Sunday to celebrate the lives of our loved ones who have died.

This holiday has implications for those of us who are creative--and we should all be creative.  Even if we think of ourselves as non-spiritual, there are practices from this feast day that we can adopt to enrich our lives.

--Let's begin with something simple.  Light a candle as you remember the faithful in your life who have nourished you. You could expand your thoughts to those who you didn't know who nonetheless have bolstered your creative life.  Take a moment to feel gratitude for the writers, artists, chefs, and all of those who make us want to create.  Remember all the ways they've supported us and the work that has meant so much.

--Go a step further.  Write a card of thanks and put it in the mail.  Your family members who supported you would love to hear from you.  Write your parents to thank them for giving you the art supplies and letting you make a mess.  Write to your high school drama teacher.  Write to your favorite author.

--Be inspired by the variety of ways that Latino cultures celebrate the Day of the Dead.  This year I'm inspired by the altars that people create.  Create an altar of your own.  It could be an installation type project or it could be part of a bookshelf.  Gather objects that mean something to you.  Decorate the space with fabric or tissue paper or festive ribbons.

--Make a picnic and take it to a graveyard, another inspiration from Day of the Dead activities.  Look at the tombstones.  Make up stories about the dead.

--Or don't make up stories.  Today is a good day to remember your family and start writing them down. You won't remember them forever. And there will be younger generations who will be starving for those stories. If you write them in a blog, hopefully, they'll be there forever.

--Rosemary is a symbol of remembrance, so today is a great day to make something with the herb. How about a chicken, roasted with rosemary, lemon, and garlic? Vegetarians can make a tasty bean soup with the same trio of rosemary, lemon, and garlic--add several cans of beans (whirled up in the blender, if you prefer a thicker soup) to your pot of rosemary, lemon, and garlic, and you've got an easy delicious soup. Throw in some steamed carrot pieces for an even more nutritious soup.

--It's never too early to think about spring.  In many parts of the United States, now would be a great time to plant bulbs. Then in the spring, you'll have an additional treat.

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