Where I live, in Tucson, Arizona, the Hispanic Memorial Tradition of Día de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead) is annually celebrated at the beginning of November by the entire community. This year (2022) I wanted to remember the thousands of fellow Beings that are gone and leaving every day. This is a grief hard to fathom because they disappear silently, un-grieved, un-mourned, and un-named. And as they go the Balance of nature begins to fragment, endangering our human species as well.
I wanted to honor recently extinct and endangered species by NAMING them. Visually, as in a Shrine for Contemplation, and as an actual Litany as well. I began compiling a list. I did not realize the magnitude of that long list. It kept growing until I had panels from the ceiling to the floor. I wanted to remember the White Rhino, or the Rodriguez Giant Tortoise, or the Sumatran Tiger, or the Xerces Blue Butterfly………. so very many.
My "Shrine" grew to include a self-published Book, four 8 foot wall-hung Panels, and an accompanying 10 minute Video made in collaboration with artist Kathy Keler. It will be shown at the Parliament of World Religions in 2023. It is my hope that the exhibit will travel in the future to other venues as an educational Memorial.
A Shrine for the Lost: The Sixth Extinction