Friday, January 20, 2012

Five Words Musing - January

Today marks the day of a new collaborative project I am participating with two colleagues and friends.  After our collaboration on the My Moon, Your Moon project, we just couldn't bear to think that that was the end of our work together.  Our desire to continue our creative connections spawned a new project called Five Words Musing.  The premise for the project is simple:

Five words presented on the 5th.
Two musings, painted and written, on the 20th.
The reasoning behind the choice of words for the close.
Twelve months in a row.
One year.

 Like the moon project, we create our pieces independently and put them together on the agreed upon due dates.  It's always nerve wracking to see if everyone's pieces will mesh together, and, like the moon project, we remain pleasantly surprised.

Here is my contribution to January's collaboration:

January Musing

The five words for January made me think of my mother's homeland and their beliefs about death and rebirth and the afterlife.  In Okinawa, when a family member dies, they are cremated and placed into a family tomb.  These tombs, known as ohakas, are sometimes shaped like a turtle's shell (a symbol for birth).  This design of the tomb has often been compared to the shape of a woman's womb, the place where life originally begins.  So when you die, Okinawans believe that you return to the place of your birth to live again in the afterlife.  Every year in April, Okinawans celebrate their ancestors during shimi.  It not only serves as a time for families to honor and remember those who have passed, but it is a joyous occasion that brings families together.  It's a different way to look at life and death.

With the arrival of the new year, I've been thinking about those I have lost and about my own mortality in getting older.  With a new baby, it's hard not to let your mind wander and think about the future - the one where you will both exist and not exist in her world.  Oh, don't forget about that dark cloud looming over my head about the end of days that is allegedly falling on my 34th birthday this year...  Death seems like a scary state of being, but I think the Okinawans got in right.  It's nice to think that it isn't an ending but a new beginning.  So here's to new beginnings.
Source: via Diana on Pinterest


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