Lauren - Not Yet In Her Little Red DressSaturday, August 15, 2009
The surgeon looked at the adjutant-general, gravely and significantly. The patient's eyes slowly closed, and thus lay for a few moment; then, his face suffused with a smile of ineffable sweetness, he said faintly: "I suppose this must be death,"and so passed away.
Parker Adderson, Philosopher, Ambrose Bierce
Today was eventful but trying in many ways. I discussed the act of willing oneself to die, with a friend who has been admitted to hospital. We talked about fearing death. I mentioned Ambrose Bierce’s Parker Adderson, Philosopher who is a man ready to die in the morning but not the day before. I attended the memorial of Vancouver poet Gerry Gilbert at the Roundhouse. Gilbert died a couple of months ago and the folks who were there represented an era long gone. It was an era in which poets listened to musicians. Musicians listened to poets and painters and architects listened to musicians and poets. Now, a speaker at the memorial noted, there are many more poets but fewer that seem to be good. When I say the same thing about photographers I am told I am too critical.
The day had to be a day of melancholy and it was until almost the end. I managed to get Rosemary into the car and even managed to fold a wheelchair and put it into the trunk. With Hilary we went to the airport to pick up Lauren and Rebecca. They had gone for two weeks to San José el Cabo in Baja California with our daughter Ale. Many years ago Rosemary and I would send Ale and Hilary to Mexico for several weeks to spend time with the Zamoras. It was with the Zamoras that Ale, Rebecca and Lauren visited this time.
Rosemary and I always enjoyed going to the airport to see how our daughters had grown and to note their tans. It was the same all over again with our granddaughters.
But there was something different – an unexpected different. Rebecca looked much the same and most lovely as usual. The little shock was Lauren. Lauren had grown and looked older and much prettier than when she had left.
When we arrived at Hilary’s house the girls opened their luggage. Ale pulled out all sorts of Mexican sweets. But it, was Lauren who captured my heart. She pulled two nice Mexican dresses, one a brilliant carmine red. "I picked these dresses so you can photograph me in them," she said to me.
Addendum courtesy of Brian Nation (present at Gerry Gilbert's memorial) who sent me an email with the subject "No Exit"
From now on memorial attendance for dead jazz musicians, photographers, and bums only.
Nation included this photograph which I rather like which he took of me outside the memorial service.