Tonight, in Tucson, be prepared for oddly-adorned participants who walk in reverence and celebration.It’s a special night in Tucson, our All Souls Procession. The Procession whispers of ancient times and celebrates a cycle of life and death in a Fall ritual that links spirituality, art and spectacle.
The All Souls Procession is 21-plus years of annual remembrance. It began as a personal expression of grief for artist Susan Kay Johnson to honor her father’s passing. I often wonder what Susan feels about the evolution of her expression of remembrance.
Tonight’s Procession is the centerpiece of joyful community gathering, a tradition that nourishes the spirit of the living while creatively remembering the dead. There are 20,000-plus involved, including waves of angels, skeletons with carts or floats awash in glow lights, candles and paper lanterns. A Grande Finale at the Mercado San Agustin culminates in a ritual performance by Flam Chen and a symbolic fiery cleansing with a huge Urn.
Particularly in light of the terrible chaos and death wrought by Hurricane Sandy…because of the terrible division we see in this country wrought by extremist politics – tonight’s procession carries great meaning. I hope the tradition continues, and I’ve contributed dollars as I can to the non-profit responsible. The Red Cross needs our dollars, too, as does non-partisan believers like Gabby Giffords/Captain Mark Kelly’s PAC.
Remember tonight, and vote on Tuesday.
More on my other Tucson Cowgirl blog here.