For the Love of Our Ancestors... VOTE!

It’s Election Day

All the campaigning has been done, the ads and speeches and fundraising—nothing left to do but get out the vote! If you can, today, volunteer to make calls, to help people get to the polls, to encourage everyone to be part of this vitally important election.

I voted early, on Halloween, which seemed magically appropriate somehow. This time of year is when we honor the ancestors and the Beloved Dead, with our beautiful Spiral Dance Ritual last weekend, with nearly a thousand people dancing a spiral, with some private time on Halloween itself to remember a dear friend who died this year, and finally with Dia de los Muertos—the huge procession and festival of altars that takes place each year in San Francisco.

Inspired By The Beloved Dead

For so many years I’ve lost count, I’ve been honored to march in the front of the procession and help to call in the directions at each of the corners. For something like two decades, I supported the poet Francisco Alarcon, and I still feel his presence beside me on that night even though he passed a couple of years ago. 


This year I followed the dansantes from the group Coyalxauahqui, who danced in all the directions with such spirit, grace, and amazing stamina. They had been up all night dancing and holding vigil, and I felt in awe of their commitment and strength.


I find the procession so moving—thousands of people lining the streets, thousands walking together, holding candles, different groups drumming and dancing, an incredible diversity of people from every culture and background, all of us united in remembering our beloved dead. The park is filled with altars that people create for their loved ones, filled with color and candles and crowds dancing to African drums and writing notes to the dead to hang on strings or offering their own prayers and songs.



Ancestors, We Call You

As we enter this election day, as so much hate and violence and cruelty swirls around us, I take inspiration from the Day of the Dead, from the peaceful sharing and honoring of cultures, from the simple humanity of people remembering that love does not end with death. 

May this spirit spread over the land, reminding us that in diversity lies resilience and enrichment and joy. May the cruel and uncaring be struck with the urge to stay home and binge-watch House of Cards, may the cheaters and vote-suppressors be confounded, and may a blue wave energize all those who thirst for justice and who stand with the immigrant, with the refugee, with the children, with women, with the gender diverse, with the homeless, with the earth.

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