All In The FamilyMonday, November 07, 2011
Of late other preoccupations have prevented me from sitting down to write my blog with my usual punctuality. As I write this the blog has gone as far as Sunday but it is Wednesday.
For one last Friday marked one of those rare occasions in my late life as a photographer where an organization paid me a full and most handsome day rate for my services. Before that Friday came around I was preoccupied with the shoot itself. I believe, that no matter how much experience one has if one is not nervous about a photographic job then one is only making the motions of it and passion has long gone.
Last week was the week of a broken iPhone (fixed and cheaply!), a non-starting Malibu (our mistake and once BCAA started it the battery came back to full charge) and a terrible toothache that Dental Ben repaired with a root canal. Apparently the whole process of my root canal was so complicated that Dental Ben thanked me for making his day.
It was Thursday when things began to deteriorate in a way I would have never suspected. I photographed Meg Roe and Lois Anderson in a dressing room at the Stanley and then my friend Paul and I watched Margaret Atwood’s play The Penelopiad.
Paul Leisz is a transit driver with experience so he went to the men’s room before the performance. I have always boasted of my “Wreck Beach bladder” and felt I did not need to go. I was mistaken. For that first act I performed countless crossings of my legs. We were in the front row and I did not see how I could walk back to the exit. I bared it as well as I could. But I found no relief at the intermission.
If one discounts sex, life is made up of sleeping, eating and evacuating. One seems to take all three in stride and as a given.
By the time that 2 in the morning came around I had finally emptied my liquid contents, little by little, perhaps in the fear that Rosemary would call the ambulance. Had that happened I would not made it for my Friday shoot when a whole office was ready for me and they had hired models and a dog!
I called up my daughter Hilary the next day to ask her if I could possibly have experienced a kidney stone. She said that was impossible. By Saturday night had taken Hilary to emergency with a pain in Flanders (or the Lower Countries as my Spanish grandmother would have said. The folks at emergency even suspected that Hilary might be experiencing what I did not have.
It is Wednesday now and Hilary is in hospital waiting for a minor surgery that will remove a benign growth in the nether parts. She waits and waits. If she were in even greater pain than she is they might whisk her to the operating table. But our health system (not bad in my opinion) has a system, a sort of torture chamber where you suffer and those who suffer more are operated on while you wait for a turn that might happen days after while you enjoy your Jell-O in what is definitely not the Hilton.
My other daughter has also been through a more major operation down in Flanders and is recovering in Lillooet. She will be soon returning to her job as a school teacher, a job she really loves.
It was Hilary who told me something that made me think on how we take so much for granted. From her hospital bed she said, “I want to go back to normal where I can go to my job and do what I am supposed to do in health and take care of my children.”
I did not tell her that Saturday night when I noticed her extreme pain (she described it as knives below her waist) I immediately thought of a cancerous tumor. I further thought about a commentary in one of the books I had been reading about the Iliad and the Odyssey where they said that Homer had obviously preferred to write about Odysseus finding his way home than about the brutal Trojan war. The statement that came back to haunt me on Saturday night was something like this: In peace sons bury their fathers; in war fathers bury their sons. I wondered, if in one of those terrible occurrences, that I might just unluckily be predeceased by my children.
Thankfully that is not to pass and both my daughters will be just fine with Hilary out of the hospital and back home by Friday.