It’s been a few years since I have attended Dia de los Muertos altars at Garfield Park in San Francisco. The last time I went it felt a little Burning Man, enjoyable but less the event I thought it should be. The altars seemed larger than life, artful but some of them seemed more focused on the spectacle then creating a special memory of someone.
That time I was there I was conscious of the community attending the event. Was the event attended by white folks co-opting the holiday or was it for people of Mexican heritage? New transplants to San Francisco ready to drink beer and paint a skull face? What was the true meaning of this holiday? Did anyone know why they were painting their face like a skull? Which was the prettiest one? Were we able to transcend these details and get into the space of celebrating death, truly?