Ángeles En La Zona Roja
Saturday, January 12, 2013
Tiempo de ángeles
A time of angels
english version George McWhirter
Fondo de Cultura Económica, Mexico City, 2012
Seguí el ángel patudo por la zona roja
Iba descalzo dejando huellas doradas en el pavimento.
Huellas que enseguida el silencio borraba.
Pasó sin dejar limosna a las indias mazahuas.
Pasó junto a los coches en doble fila,
ignoró a los policías y a las prostitutas.
Era sábado en la noche y había ruido
en el cuerpo y la cabeza de las gentes.
Era sábado en la noche y la ciudad gritaba.
El ángel atravesó una pared arañada
y se halló en la recámara de un prostíbulo.
Una esfinge de carne y hueso estaba echada en una cama.
Un hombre trataba de abrir una ventana sucia
que daba a un muro negro, pero no podía abrirla,
porque el marco estaba fuera de sitio.
Un ciego con cara de ídolo borracho,
palpaba las formas redondas de un maniquí femenino
y se ponía los lentes con ojos azules pintados.
Los pasillos estaban llenos de maridos, de jóvenes barrosos
Y de muchachas locas. Una de ellas tenía la boca grande,
Los pechos fláccidos, los muslos numerados,
El ángel nunca había visto un rostro tan solitario
como el suyo. Ni ojos tan llenos de penumbra
como los suyos, en el vidrio de la puerta.
Ojos negros, cafés, azules, verdes y transparentes.
Ojos que podían atravesar las paredes y los cuerpos.
Era la primera vez que él se veía a sí mismo en un espejo
El ángel nunca había bebido alcohol ni había bailado.
Creía que cuando las parejas se abrazaban en el salón
Lo hacían para volar juntas o para hacerse un solo cuerpo.
Observaba de cerca a una mujer a la que le habían roto la boca
Y se preguntaba si sería capaz de decir las palabras completas.
No imaginaba por qué estaba una niña desnuda en una habitación
ni por qué la muchacha morena llevaba el pelo verde
ni por qué los pechos y las piernas femeninas tenían precio.
Él solo calculaba la soledad del paraguas en la silla.
Afuera un desesperado andaba al borde de un edificio.
Tenía la intención de saltar hacia el vacío
y las gentes de abajo esperaban que así lo hiciera.
Esa noche tenían ganas de ver un suicidio. En la calle,
clientes y prostitutas reconocieron al ciego borracho.
-No verá su sombra que se precipita hacia el abismo
-dijo un joven greñudo, cuando el otro se lanzó contra si mismo.
Pero no cayó al suelo. Sólo cayó su grito.
Sostenido por el ángel, se quedo parado en las alturas.
Red light district
Through the red light district I followed the angel with the big feet.
Shoeless it went, leaving gold prints on the sidewalk,
footfalls blotted out at once by the silence.
It passed without giving alms to the Mazahua women.
Passed alongside cars, double-parked,
oblivious to police and prostitutes.
It was Saturday night and there was a clamoring
in people’s heads and bodies;
it was Saturday night and the city was screaming.
Through a scratched up wall the angel passed
and found itself in the bedroom of a brothel.
A sphinx of flesh and bone was sprawled on the bed.
A man was straining to open a dirty window
that looked out on a black wall, but couldn’t
because its frame was crooked.
A blind man with the face of a drunken idol
was putting on glasses with blue eyes painted on the lenses
and feeling his way round the curves of a female mannequin.
The passageways were jammed with married men, pimply
kids and wild young women. One of them had a large mouth,
lolling breasts and numbers stamped on her thighs.
Never had the angel seen such a lonely face
as hers, nor eyes so full of penumbra
as his in the glass on the door. Black eyes, brown,
blue, green and transparent eyes.
Eyes that could pass through the walls and bodies.
It was its first time, seeing itself in a mirror.
The angel had never drunk liquor nor danced.
It believed that couples hugging in the hall
did it to fly together, or to be made into the one body.
One woman whose mouth had been split open,
it studied closely, and wondered if she could shape whole words.
It couldn’t take in why a little girl was naked in a room
or why the dusky one had had her hair done green
or why females’ legs and breasts had a price on them.
It only gauged the loneliness of the umbrella on the chair.
Outside, a desperate man walked to the edge of a building,
Intending to spring into the emptiness
and the people below waited for him to do it.
That night they felt like seeing a suicide.
Prostitutes and customers in the streets recognized the drunken
Blindman. ‘He won’t see his own shadow hit bottom,’
said a shaggy-haired youngster while the other man hurled himself
But did not fall. Only his cry fell.
Plucked up by the angel, he was held on high.
Raúl Guerrero Montemayor, Dec 16, 1926 - Jan 9, 2013
Friday, January 11, 2013
My friend Raúl Guerrero Montemayor who was 86 on December 16, died Wednesday, January 9, 2013 in Mexico City. I talked to him on January 7 on Skype and found him especially lively and quick to respond. I told him I had never heard him better. He told me he felt fine.
The last time I saw Raúl alive was December 19 in the morning. He was extremely thin and could barely move on his own volition. I had photographed him a couple of days before but I did not have the heart to show him as I saw him. I photographed his beautiful hands on my mother's red Mexican rebozo. He adored my mother as he did my grandmother.
Rosemary reminded me today when I told her the news something that I have never forgotten. When my mother died it was with Raúl that I did my coffin shopping and it was he who helped me with the funeral arrangements.
A few years before my grandmother had died at a home in Cuernavaca. I have no memory of the funeral. It was Raúl on his bed on December 17th who told me, “When your grandmother died, her coffin was being transported by a couple of very ordinary Mexican men (Raúl used the word “pelados”) and they stumbled. You and I went to the rescue. I cannot but realize that your grandmother, who was quite an uppity old woman would have appreciated that her burial was assisted by two men with class.”
From my vantage point of the chair by Raúl’s bed I could see the open closet door with his row of exquisite shoes, and hanging over them his beautiful suits and shirts. Raúl had class or as my mother would have stated, he was “gente fina”.
But he was not devoid of humour. One time at a party at the house of my Aunt Fermina and Tío Luís Miranda, my uncle had a guest who was an insufferable American who happened to be a Mormon of the worst kind. He refused to even drink Coke. I so disliked this pedantic man that Raúl and I conspired to get him drunk by serving him orange Fanta which we laced with Grand Marnier. We got the man quite tipsy.
Raúl was always careful about his appearance and he was always slim and well toned. But he could really eat. And the place to eat was the Miranda household. The Miranda’s had been a wealthy family in Manila and they had lived in the best section of the city called Forbes Park. When the Japanese army was about to disembark and take the city my Uncle Luís Miranda who was the head chemist at the San Miguel Brewery stated in the parlance of the times, “I was going to make sure the Japs would not drink any of my beer so I sabotaged the plant.” I never did ask my uncle if the Japanese found out. What I do know is that the Miranda family (one girl and two boys) were turfed out of their beautiful home which became the headquarters of the occupying forces. The Miranda family lived all kinds of deprivations and my uncle swore that if they ever survived the war they would never ever experience hunger.
At the Miranda’s food was always plentiful and always the best. If you happened to sit at the table with Uncle Luís he would point at you and bend the first joint of his index finger and tell you that you were not eating anything so you had to eat more and well.
So we had eating competitions that involved my cousin Roberto Miranda, his friend Paco Sandoval, Raúl and yours truly. I could really pack it in. The champion, you would have guessed had to be Robby Miranda who loved to eat. But the champ was always Raúl, who had a habit of showing up, on any day of the week or weekend at about lunchtime or dinner time.
I remember one Saturday or Sunday lunch (there were always many children who sat at ancillary card tables) when we ate various servings of pasta. Then came the T-bones. I remember that I had two. We had the ever present kaning malagkit, Filipino white sticky rice, salad and of course bread to soak up the steak juices. My Aunt Fermina, would have been up all the day before making the dough and waiting for it to rise, which she then flattened and waited for it to rise again. This process to make the Spanish origin enzaimadas was laborious. They were, of course the best enzaimadas I have ever had in my life. The next day after the pasta, the steaks, the salad, the bread, the rice, etc we ate the enzaimadas almost as if the Japanese were about to take the city. The winner that day was Raúl Guerrero Montemayor.
|Raúl Guerrero Montemayor &|
Hilary Anne Waterhouse-Hayward
As I saw the withered shadow of the handsome man that I knew was still the Raúl that I so much loved I again thought of my first doubts on the afterlife. It had all begun in my late teens when I wondered what my mother would look like when I met up with her in heaven. Would she be old? A little girl? A young girl?
When I left him on Wednesday morning Raúl looked at me and could see the tears running down his cheeks. He told me, “No me despido porque nos vamos a ver otra vez.” I will not say goodbye. We will see each other again.”
Until that happens I will remember him as I see him in the pictures here which I must have taken around 1974 when his goddaughter, my daughter Hilary, was about three.
La Ángela Dormida - Homero Aridjis
Thursday, January 10, 2013
Tiempo de ángeles
A time of angels
english version George McWhirter
Fondo de Cultura Económica, Mexico City 2012
La ángela dormida
La ángela se ha acostado
en la cabellera negra de su propia noche.
sin quitarse las ropas amarillas
que llevó de día.
Tendida sobre si misma,
Parece una mujer desnuda
que desborda en el espacio
si carne de múltiples colores.
Ha dejado sus pechos descubiertos
nubes azulinas que se hacen profundamente
oscuras en los ojos que tratan de acuencarlos
Yace el el suelo el sostén dorado,
que suele usar en las calles del hombre
para que no los estropeen las manos del aire.
Los ojos en sus alas han cerrado los párpados
y duermen sueños sin imágenes.
Tiene los oidos tapados, para que no se viertan
en ellos las palabras de los idiomas muertos,
las voces de los animales extintos
y los rumores de los ríos desaparecidos.
Se ha atado en los muros negros
con sombras que la arraigan al mundo,
para que cuando duermano se desvanezca el olvido.
Su corazón borracho de silencio,
quisiera palpitar fuertemente,
pero ella es como una carta cerrada
que sólo pueden leer a través del papel
las mentes que imaginan.
La Ángela no tiene edad.
Al amanecer se quita
la máscara dorada
y aparece en su lugar
An angel sleeping
The angel has lain down
in the long black hair of her own night
without taking off the yellow clothes
she wore by day.
Lying spread out on herself
she looks like a naked woman
who spills her flesh
of many colours into space.
She has let out her breasts,
Blue hued clouds that go the deepest dark
in the eyes that strive to cup them;
lying on the floor is the golden brassiere,
which she is wont to use in the streets of men,
so that the hands of the air may not harm them.
The lids on the eyes of her wings have closed
and they sleep through dreams without images.
Her ears are sealed so words
out of dead languages may not pour in,
or the voices of extinct animals
and murmurings of vanished rivers.
She has moored herself to the black walls
with shadows that root her to the world
so that when she sleeps
she won’t disappear into a forgetting.
Her heart, drunk on silence,
wishes to beat fiercely,
but she is a sealed letter
which only minds that imagine
can read through the paper.
The angel has no age.
At daybreak, she takes off
the golden mask
and in its place appears
Ángel Motociclista - Motorcycle Angel
Wednesday, January 09, 2013
Conque el ángel va en motocicleta,
el pelo largo, las alas plegadas,
entregando cartas extraviadas.
A gentes que viven en habitaciones
sin puertas ni ventanas,
o no tienen domicilio fijo,
encerradas fuera de sí mismas.
Ansiosas de recibir noticias
de sus seres lejanos,
oyen llegar al ángel
mucho antes de que llegue,
como si él llegara por adentro.
Allí en la calle, con su cuerpo etéreo,
volando sobre la velocidad de la moto,
él atraviesa despreocupadamente
el tráfico urbano.
No es el enviado de Dios, es Rafael Sánchez,
mensajero de la Compañía Privada de Correos, S.A.,
a los desconsolados en el servicio de mediodía.
So an angel is riding a motorcycle,
wings folded, hair flying,
delivering stray letters
to people who live in rooms
without windows or doors, or shut off
at no fixed address.
Anxious for tidings
of their dear ones far away,
they hear the angel coming
long before he arrives,
as if he were arriving from inside them.
There with his ethereal body, flying
along the street on the speed of his
bike, he weaves imperturbably in
and out of the city’s traffic.
He is not the one sent by God; he’s Raphael
Sanchez, courier for Private Post, Inc.
delivering missing mail
to the disheartened,
on his midday run.
Tiempo de ángeles
A time of angels
English Version George McWhirter
Fondo de Cultura Económica
Wendy B. McDonald - The Ballbearing Lady
Tuesday, January 08, 2013
Many who read or look at my blog might not understand that as a photographer in Vancouver since 1975 I have never really specialized in any one particular field of photography. I have photographed plants and architecture, but really, mostly people. Former Vancouver Sun editor, columnist and writer, Max Wyman once introduced me as the man who photographed the rich and the famous. But I have photographed many who are neither. I have photographed the glamorous, draped and undraped and I must admit at least two weddings (one was Joey Shithead's the other Susan Musgrave's wedding at at BC maximum security prison). I have even photographed most of my cats, my daughters and my two granddaughters. Few might suspect that I worked for many a business magazine and that I photographed Wendy B. McDonald (aka the Ballbearing Lady) at least three times. The pictures below are from the late 70s and mid 80s. Increasingly the many pictures in my files should have R.I.P written somewhere. I remember that McDonald was most pleasant and that she always posed with a dog.
Obituary from the Vancouver Province, January 6, 2013
McDONALD, Wendy Burdon
CM OBC LL.D. (Hon.) D.Tech. (Hon.)
Wendy B. McDonald (nee Stoker) born June 13, 1922, peacefully passed away December 30, 2012. From her childhood days growing up and working on the family farm in North Vancouver, B.C. to her days as a leading business woman, philanthropist and community leader, Wendy displayed her value of hard work while enchanting everyone she met with her sense of adventure, caring attitude and exuberant love of life.
One of her greatest joys was her family. Married and widowed three times, Wendy had 10 children and was known as Tutu to 27 grandchildren and as Nui Tutu to 36 great-grandchildren. Wendy served over 60 years as a leader in her family-owned international industrial distribution company, BC Bearing Engineers Limited, and later as BCB Corporate Services Ltd. for Norcan Fluid Power Ltd & BC Bearing Chile SA. Under her leadership, BC Bearing was recognized with a number of awards, including Power Transmission Distributor of the Year, twice as one of the Top 50 Best-Managed Private Companies in Canada, and Canadian Association of Family Enterprise's Jaguar Achievement Award.
The Golden and Diamond Jubilee Medals were presented to her in commemoration of Her Majesty's accession to the throne and in recognition of Wendy McDonald's contributions to Canada. She was appointed a member of the Order of Canada and a member of the Order of British Columbia. She received the Veuve Cliquot Award of Distinction as Canadian Business Woman of the Year, a YWCA Women of Distinction award, the RBC Canadian Woman Entrepreneur Award, and was inducted into Sales and Marketing Executives International's Academy of Achievement Hall of Fame. In her devotion to the community, she served as a trustee for the Schenley Awards, University Hospital at UBC, the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame and as a director of the B.C. Paraplegic Foundation, and the CH.I.L.D. Foundation. She served as President of Bearing Specialists Association, Chair of Pacific Corridor Enterprise Council, as Chair and, later, Governor for the Vancouver Board of Trade, Chair of the Canadian Council of the Americas (B.C. Chapter), as Governor with B.C Institute of Technology, and as a Director with Sandwell Inc., Zurich Canada, Canada West Foundation among others. Between all of her family, business and community commitments, she enjoyed swimming, gardening, fishing, golf, and tennis, often at her cherished summer home in Halfmoon Bay, B.C. Her passion for soccer was huge. Having been part of the ownership team of the original NASL Vancouver Whitecaps, she continued to be a proud supporter of Vancouver soccer up to its current MLS team.
She received an Honorary Doctorate in Technology from B.C. Institute of Technology and an Honorary Doctorate in Law from Simon Fraser University. When conferring the Degree on Wendy, the Chancellor at Simon Fraser University noted "in a world where so often profit seems the sole measure of a company's worth, Wendy McDonald has proven that, even in an exceptionally competitive business, loyalty to employees and personal integrity can be and are rewarded with success, the love of her family, the respect of peers, and with the affection of community."
Veronica Vex & Fuji FP-3000B
Monday, January 07, 2013
I am very excited about this process. The film has been discontinued. I have ten boxes for 100 image possibilities. For this picture I only took one. The Sabbatier effect on the negative peel is random so sometimes the reverse looks terrible and sometimes wonderful.
|Veronica Vex - Fuji FP -3000B print|
|Fuji FP -3000B negative peel|
|Fuji FP-3000B reversed|
|Fuji FP-3000B cropped|
|Fuji FP-3000B with contrast modified in Corel Paint Shop Pro X2|
The Epiphany, One Wise King Not
Sunday, January 06, 2013
When I was 15 I believed in God, punishment, reward, and guilt. I spent time attempting to figure out at precisely what point, $30, $50, was stealing a sum of money a mortal sin beyond the venial one of appropriating one cent from a little old lady. I knew that as a Roman Catholic I had the obligation of defending my faith. I had received the Holy Sacrament called Confirmation. Confirmation made me a soldier of Christ, defending my faith involved explaining it to those who might want to know. My teacher Brother Edwin Reggio, C.S.C explained the logic of my religion. In spite of the Holy Trinity (the Mystery of the Holy Trinity) which was unknowable through logic, there was indeed logic in some matters of faith. Indeed while Christmas was an important feast as there would be no Christianity without the birth of Christ, that birth would have been meaningless if the man who preached that he would rise from the dead on the third day had not indeed risen. This made Easter a more important feast. Brother Edwin explained that God had made an exclusive contract with the Israelites through His messenger Moses. In that contract, if the Israelites followed those 10 Commandments they would gain the exclusive opportunity to face God in paradise while other heathens would not. God made another contract, a far more generous one, with all of mankind. This contract was called the New Testament. In this new contract if we all followed those 10 Commandments we might be saved and sit by the side of God, Christ and that mysterious entity called the Holy Ghost. We would have that opportunity even if we were unclean. This meant that those uncircumcised (all Israelites males had to be circumcised) males had a fighting chance. My Philippine nick name is suput
which means uncircumcised. The Muslim population of the southern island of Mindanao considers those male Christians in the other islands, especially unclean if like me they are suput. January 6, today, is the feast of the Epiphany. This day symbolized by the appearance of the three wise men at the manger is the day that represents that contract, not that exclusive one with the Israelites, but a contract with all of us even those of us poor suput. The Epiphany, January 6 is thus most important. And there is a comfortable logic in that.
Most logical, as logic says that Gaspar, Melchior and Balthazar were all suput. Which was the black one? Google that.