An Agave, The Fairy & The Comedy of ErrorsSaturday, July 18, 2009
"Time is a very bankrupt, and owes more than he's worth to season.
Nay, he's a thief, too: have you not heard men say,
That time comes stealing on by night and day?" (Act IV, Scene II), The Comedy of Errors, William Shakespeare
Rebecca and I had an exciting time at Bard on the Beach. We saw Shakespeare’s farce, The Comedy of Errors. This version was happily over the top, complete with a bear, a cock, a couple of mechanical rats and roasted, skewered mice. To almost top all that there was Christopher Gaze in drag looking like Queen Elizabeth I. But what topped it all was Christopher Gaze, below with Rebecca, as a drunk whose face is rubbed into buxom (and pregnant) Emilia’s (Colleen Wheeler) chest. It was hilarious. Best of all it was a treat to watch Rebecca have a good time.
When we returned I made thin, crustless sandwiches (cucumber, egg salad, ham and cheese), and my in family famous iced tea. We had a guest, my Mexican photo student Gabriel Beltrán who wanted to see the photos on my walls. His favourite is the first one you see here of Rebecca when she was 7. I took it at Queen Elizabeth Park’s MacMillan Bloedel Conservatory.
Four years before I had photographed Rebecca in my studio dressed as a fairy. For a long time the fairy photo was one of my favourites. I had nothing to compare it with. She looked cute and adorable. Now as I look back I see the emptiness (her potential all hidden beneath) of the little girl, too young to really have a complex personality. That complexity and that sadness of growing up shows by the time she was 7 in that photo by the Mexican agave. Lauren is rapidly approaching that age. She is 7 now and I can see the seriousness in her demeanor when she asks me questions. I have to be ready to take that picture that straddles precariously between childhood and the lost innocence of adulthood.
The polyantha rose, Rosa ‘The Fairy’, 1932 Bentall, is a cute, little and almost procumbent rose that is a late bloomer. It started blooming this week with masses of little globular flowers that grow almost in deep shade and in poor soil. It is a survivor (alas, Rebecca’s died this last winter). As I saw it today, once Gabriel left, I went to look for the fairy picture of Rebecca. While I photographed Rebecca today in her beautiful little bikini there is still more of a shock value in the agave photograph.
A rosy, safe and pleasant nostalgia is what I feel when I think of the fairy. I cannot wait for Rebecca to grow up. First we must watch Beau Geste together. Next a Shakespeare tragedy. The time is near.