A Spent Dahlia & My Existential Angst
Friday, September 23, 2022
|My neighbour's dahlia - 21 September 2022|
word desganado translates to listless. I prefer the Spanish term. Ganas is
about wanting to do something. The preceding des renders it to not wanting to do
something (or anything).
John Lekich often used to tell me when I experienced something strange by
telling me, “It is natural because it is spring (or he would add, summer, fall
my listlessness is not seasonal. It is part grief over my Rosemary’s death (why
is that word now almost always replaced by that euphemistic passing?), my being
80, (that Oxford Comma) and losing friends and family almost every day. I want to call
It is not clinical
depression. To begin with any counsellor I might go to would not know who Hegel
or Sartre was. My feeling these days is of finding little will to keep on. My friend, architect Abraham Rogatnick told me a year before he died, "I am not long for this world and I am glad for it."
started blogging in 2006 I remember my obsession to blog every day even when we travelled. I would go to internet cafes.
desire to blog is not a pressing one. I postpone from one day to the next. I
walk the cats, cook to feed myself. I make my food very spicy and my tea very
strong. My sense of taste is fading.
I never thought
I would ever say that I am not interested in women. I can no longer abide in
seeing women in tight yoga pants. I would define this century as the “Age of
Cleavage”. I am tired of that. I enjoy women in dresses.
One of my
daughters some months ago warned me that if I fell for some woman not to give
her everything I own. I was shocked as at my present age I am only interested
in one woman and that is Rosemary. The thought of any other woman is anathema
affection I crave of my wife sharing our bed is partially satisfied by my two
cats who compete to get as close as they can when I turn off the lights.
of the day (while being aware that I am WTD, waiting to die) is satisfied a tad
by my plant scanning. I know that my 3000 scans mean nothing to most people but
I love them and each time I scan a plant it is just like that first time back
in one lazy and hot afternoon in August of 2002.
few exceptions, my ethical system is that I scan only the plants in my garden
(which was our garden).
scanograph illustrating this blog is an exception that I will try to justify.
Since it is
already fall, dahlias are everywhere and social media is full of macro
photographs of pristine and colourful specimens.
here is a Greek neighbour’s. He is currently visiting his home country. I
snipped it and scanned it. It is lovely because it is not perfect or pristine.
Not that it
is all that comparable; my other scan here is of my Asahi Pentax S3 which I purchased
used in Mexico City in 1962. It served me well even in Vancouver from1975 until
1980. It works perfectly and I adore the exposed brass.
and dahlia. Will my desgane be replaced by just a tad of enthusiasm?
Efraín Jara Idrovo - Phonological Opositions
Sunday, September 18, 2022
|Left - Rosa 'Sombreuil' & Right - Rosa 'Margaret Merril' 18 September 2022|
poco te exige la vida!
Jara Idrovo (Cuenca, 26 de febrero de 1926-Ib., 8 de abril de 2018)
It is impossible to properly translate the above my most
frequent discovery of an Ecuadorean poet and writer. The poem in Spanish works
with similar for-letter words that begin with p. Here is a translation of the
Poses, weighs, steps. Passes – How little life demands
In finding this poet at this later stage of my life (80),
it feels like opening the window in a stuffy and hot car. The poem has really
nothing to do with my scan of the white roses in bloom in today’s garden.
But it the poem and the roses do make me aware of Idrovo’s
statement that life demands little of one.
My mentor Brother Edwin Reggio, C.S.C. told our class one
day in the late 50s in Austin, that we were born with but one goal/purpose. This was to find out what we
could do well. Our path then became one of doing it. He warned us that in
not doing it this would amount to a tragedy.
Looking at my career in photography which now seems to
have been an easy one, perhaps it happened because of that awareness that Brother
Edwin inculcated in me.
At my age I could be watching TV or sleeping, or as I often told Rosemary "WTD" (waiting to die). Finding
happiness in cutting the white roses today; arranging them on my scanner bed, (Oxford comma!)
and then going through the entertaining process makes me reflect on the luck of
having met Brother Edwin and the fact that my Rosemary loved white roses.
It is as simple as that and the Ecuadorean poet would
certainly agree and with very few words.
Appreciation of Imperfection
|Kirengeshoma koreana & Rosa 'Complicata' 18 September 2022|
I photograph to find out what something will look like
Garry Winogrand -14 January 1928 – 19 March 1984
This man is often in my mind particularly these days that
I scan my plants with what I know is an obsession. I have a friend, Ian McGuffie
whom I have known for many years. He is a photographer who is constantly taking
photographs and tells me how he enjoys taking them. In all those 35 plus years
I have known him I have only seen at the most 10 of his photographs.
When Winogrand died, hundreds of undeveloped rolls of
films were found in his home. I like to think (with a smile) that McGuffie is
our very own Garry Winogrand.
I also see some resemblance with my obsession in scanning
my garden plants (over 3000 since I started in 2001). I am sure that after
seeing about 20 of them most people would become bored.
In my scans I note the constant change in the beauty of my
plants particularly when I scan roses that have been in my garden since the
late 80s. You can observe how maturity affects them.
Like Winogrand, I scan them to see what they will look
like scanned, but even though by now I can predict how they will look I find satisfaction in observing their beauty
even if it is purely personal.
I am sure that when I shortly (I am 80) make my quick
exit from my existence, the scans, if seen or discovered by anybody, will be a strange occurrence to which, thankfully, I will not be privy to.
It is enough that my plants live with me and when I am
gone they will be recorded in the memory of a couple of exterior hard drives.
That nobody will care does not affect me in the least. It
is so much fun to make my scanographs. Does anybody else call themselves a scanographer?
Note the imperfections in today's scan. The lovely Kirengeshoma, while shade tolerant, is under too much shade from my very big Rosa 'Complicata' In late fall I will prune the rose and see if I can get more light on the Kirengeshoma.
These plants parallel the pristine beauty of my Rosemary when I met her in 1967. Now they show how time changes that beauty to one that I not only I came to appreciate in my Rosemary as she aged but one that is there when I see myself in the mirror when I shave.
Three The Barber Shaved
Saturday, September 17, 2022
|Ellliott Erwitt - Dennis Hopper - Annie Leibovitz|
As a photographer (and principally a portrait one), and
speaking for myself I can state that I would rather be in back of a camera than
facing one. But occasionally when someone wants to snap my picture I relax as I
don’t have to think about how to take the photograph. I leave that up to the
person behind the camera that is facing me.
I like to use the expression “who shaves the barber?”
lots. I have written about the subject in many links below.
Years back I faced two well known photographers and an
actor that I happened to know was a very good photographer, too. I have
combined the three in this blog and I will not add any more information except
that I am glad I did not think of taking their picture holding a camera or
being with one.
There is one important link that for the three. I used a
Mamiya RB-67 Pro-S with the 140mm macro lens with a floating element.
Who Shaves the Barber I
Who Shaves the Barber Redux
Who Shaves the Barber II
The Barber is Shaved
The Barber Shaved
Shaving the Barber with a Scanograph portrait
Brother Edwin Reggio - Who Shaves the Barber