The phrase "All is vanity" comes from Ecclesiastes. It refers to the futility and pride of man. And art that contains a human skull as a focal point is called a memento mori (Latin for "remember you will die"), a work that reminds people of their mortality.
Life is fragile and precious because it is short and uncertain. Like the single monarch butterfly on its eternal migration, no single individual knows where or why we exist as we do. We are on a journey. Our physical beings may be all there is and the realization of everything in the mind of God or only a speck of froth on the wave of a vast oneness. Maybe one day we will see through more than a glass dimly. For now, we contemplate.
Come and contemplate our short, fragile existence and honor those who have taken the road before us as Dia de los Muertos invites us to do.
This work is filled with symbolism. Do note at the feet of this work of your timeless inner self is the makings of an alter. There is bread and drink with an image of the Madonna, flowers and candles. Spiraling up is the double helix that is the blueprint of all life. Here one side is comprised of the Monarch’s journey and the other the vastness of the Universe with countless nebulae and galaxies. On your shoulder is the Raven, at your left hand the staff of Caduceus both at the ready to guide you to the next world if it should exist.