Why Do I Blog? I Still Don't Know
Saturday, May 25, 2013
Many years ago when I was the de facto staff photographer for Vancouver Magazine
I was dispatched by Editor Malcolm Parry to photograph a then prominent developer. When I returned with the photographs Parry threw a wide angle lens at me and said, “You are making the motions! Go back and do a good job.” I believe that Parry may have been right and I was taking my job for granted and I was not putting that extra effort. It was a lesson which I have never forgotten. I equate the job of a professional photographer who shoots for magazines as a 20th and (21st) century equivalent to those gunfighters of the19th. You are as good as your last gun fight. If you weren’t all that good you would be dead.
At the end of 2005 I finally had my web page designed by the folks at Skunkworks and I asked them to have an ancillary blog. My blog was up January of 2006 and the ability of people to leave comments was very short. It was two days when I found out that there were many idle crackpots with time to spare to write nasty things. I have not looked back since.
But there is a problem in not allowing comments that is connected with a statement my friend, designer Ian Bateson made to me just a few days ago. He is rapidly approaching the age of 60 and believes that most of us, particularly in the profession of design and photography are much like milk in cartons. We are "best before" some expiration date. Bateson added that what keeps us going beyond that expiration date is ego. Ego is somehow connected to that word which I associate with monogrammed park benches, and lifetime achievement awards. This is legacy. Ego makes us, so Bateson says, strive to stay relevant and to push the borders of our techniques in what must be the opposite of making the motion.
I am not sure I agree as I believe that if one considers oneself to be an artist (and I sometimes acknowledge I am an artist) one keeps on to satisfy oneself.
But Bateson may be right as satisfying oneself, currently I think I am taking the best photographs of my life, could be an exercise in self-delusion which must be one of the ancillary byproducts of an ego, particularly a large one.
Legacy is the concept of leaving something behind when one is no longer around. My friend Abraham Rogatnick told me, weeks before he died, “After me the deluge.” He meant that he was not concerned about what anybody might think of him once he was gone.
In my case I see in my legacy my many metal filing cabinets with the work of almost 63 years of taking pictures. Properly used this “legacy” could mean money for my daughters and granddaughters. I do not worry about my wife as I have a good life insurance policy.
Just like Rogatnick I don’t particularly give a hoot what people might opine about my photography career once I am gone. I will not be around to be outraged by their thumbs down.
I have written five times previously (see link below) in an attempt to answer the question, “Why do I blog?”
Now is a good time to wrestle with that question again. I want to do this particularly since in the last couple of years I have made it the habit of posting my blog but then posting a link to it through facebook (note that it has to be in lower case) and Twitter. If my blog happens to be a review to an Arts Club Theatre play I will further link to my blog in the Arts Club Theatre’s facebook and Twitter sites.
In short I have been using my blog to investigate how social media is used or not used.
I have learned that previously those diehard readers of my blog either had my blog URL in their favorites or they used the RSS feed that my blog has. I learned quickly that as soon as I linked in facebook, the port of entry to my blog became facebook and Twitter. If I did not link to facebook (and even though I rarely miss a day’s blog) most thought I had not blogged.
Through the Blogger
stats (imposed or gifted, take your pick by Google
) I know how many people view this blog on any given day. I know what kind of computers, laptops, Macs and operating systems they use and I know from what countries they are viewing my blog. I can see the trend in an instant, day, week and month. I know what search engines they use and I have come to take the page views (any where from 300,000 to 450,000 per month) with a grain of very thin salt. Many of those page views come from random image searches which really mean nothing. I am also sure that I could create more traffic if I allowed comments.
Initially I really did not know why I was blogging. But in time it became a way of showing of my photographs and particularly those of my older granddaughter. My eldest daughter, Ale, commented that she was finding out a lot about me and about her mother and herself through my blogs. She said that she had not been brave enough to ask me some questions. But these questions were being answered little by little. I soon became very careful what I wrote when I realized that my youngest daughter’s mother-in-law read my blog.
My blog after all these years has given me a sense of the scope of my work. Thanks to Ale’s initial setting up of my filing system I am in the position of thinking about any topic of interest for the day and being able to retrieve a picture from my files to illustrate it. Somehow getting this scope has put an order into my life that feels pretty good.
At age 70 with my milk carton expiry date long past due this blog has become a happy daily routine. At one time I had the stress of having to write a blog for the day. Now I might not write one for a couple of days but I will invariably fill all the missing spots.
I would go further to point out that writing this blog is one of my few relevant obligations of the day. Sometimes I ask Rosemary, “What is in the agenda for tomorrow?” If her reply is, “Nothing,” I have no reason to get out of bed or put on day clothing. With spring and summer just around the corner, the garden is a reason for getting up tomorrow. Working in the garden is a pleasant chore that of late has become less of a chore as Rosemary and I have become veterans and know the shortcuts. But there is the sadness that comes from the fact that we are no longer asked to open our garden to garden clubs or art organizations like Ballet BC. Our garden is now a labour of love that Rosemary and I share with each other. Is this enough? No, if you have a gardening ego. Bateson may be right.
This idea of sharing what one does with others has lost a bit of its currency with the sharing involved in social media. I think that in many cases facebook sharing is the act of a many Narcissus gazing at their image on the water while saying, “Don’t look at yourself, look at me.” There just doesn’t seem to be much of real sharing going on.
I sometimes feel anger when I see so many publishing (a word that has also been devalued) little colored boxes of flat design with some inane and or banal (or both) aphorism of the day. I think, “Why don’t you create something and stop playing the air guitar?” There is so little personal content in social media that goes beyond a couple of sentences.
Sometimes I feel anger when after putting an hour or two of effort to write something, a comment in social media will show with no shadow of the doubt that the person leaving the comment has not read anything and just looked at the picture. The best, policy of course is not to become bitter or angry or to lash back.
Could that simply be a diminishing ego? Or why is it that I cannot simply accept that I am writing a diary for myself and who cares if anybody else sees it? Why do I blog? Am I making the motion? Do I need someone like Malcolm Parry to shake me up?
I don't know and I cannot quit. I write, I get pleasure. That must be enough.
Why do I blog? A sobering recapitulation
Why do I blog? A 2009 perspective & Ursula Andress
Why do I blog? a summer 2008 perspective & who shaves the barber?
Why do I blog? A Northern Voice Perspective
My New And Very Dead Friend Hiram
Friday, May 24, 2013
In the last five years I have noticed the inexorable disappearance of my friends. I remove them from my diary (my last one is two years old and I have not bothered to purchase one for 2013). Some die, some worked for companies that are gone and I have lost track to where they went. With some friends I have arrived at the conclusion that we have nothing in common anymore and making the motion of having a friendship is perhaps worse than terminating one.
My friends abroad don’t seem to use email and few want to Skype.
To add to this jarring turn of events my very good friend Abraham Rogatnick died three years ago and this year both my mentor/father surrogates, Raúl Guerrero Montemayor and Brother Edwin Reggio, CSC Left for perhaps a better place.
My oldest granddaughter who was my constant companion until what seemed only a while ago had found boys and more dangerous pursuits. My garden of roses cannot compete. Luckily her sister Lauren who is only 10 has picked up the mantle of the one person in my current life who can make me smile, entertain me and even share with me my passion for Star Trek. I believe she might even agree with me that the whole Star Trek Next Generation was one big aberration.
But not all is doom in gloom. I have found a new friend called Hiram. He is dead. He departed this world on July 23, 1885.
It was sometime around 1956 that I chose to review a book about the battle of Shiloh. My friend Hiram was in command of one of the forces. Let me explain.
After a family conference and vote by the relatives, the name Hiram Ulysses was chosen for the new baby [born April 27, 1822]. He was known as “Lyss” while a boy. Rep. Thomas L. Hamer in filling out Grant’s application for appointment to West Point, forgot that he usually used H. Ulysses and, knowing that his mother’s name was Simpson, Hamer wrote in “Ulysses S. Grant,” the name he was to known by thereafter. When registering at West Point, Grant did try to have it corrected. He signed the register “Ulysses Hiram Grant” as he was afraid if he used his correct name he would be nicknamed ‘Hug.” However the authorities would not allow it to be corrected and while at West Point he was often called “Uncle Sam Grant” and later just “Sam.”
Lloyd Lewis and Dictionary of American Biography
My interest in the American Civil War began when I was around 8 or 9 and in the USIS library, the Lincoln Library in Buenos Aires on Calle Florida. My mother had gone to visit her friends in the Philippine Ministry which was adjacent to the U.S. Embassy in the same building as the library. In those days Filipinos celebrated their liberation from the Japanese and their independence from their formerly colonial masters, the Americans, on the 4th of July.
I opened a book or magazine called American Heritage and it was there that my eyes were transfixed by photographs of live and dead soldiers of the American Civil War taken by a couple of photographers called Timothy O’Sullivan and Alexander Gardner.
Looking at pictures that were brutal and realistic in their sharp b+w reproduction, the men looked very much like the Argentines walking on Calle Florida. I was also affected by the idea that I was gazing at people who had been alive when they were photographed but they were now long dead.
The memory of those photographs may have become embedded somewhere in my brain and finally inspired me to become a photographer of people.
When in the 8th grade and with my mother as the teacher in a one room schoolhouse in Nueva Rosita, Coahuila I chose the book about the Battle of Shiloh for my book report assignment. It was in the book where I first learned and became interested in Ulysses S. Grant.
For some years now I have wanted to read Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant
published May 23, 1885. It never occurred to me until the last few months to see if the Vancouver Public Library carried copies. They did and until a week ago they were all out! The library has a beautiful (but not well preserved as someone has repaired it with duct tape) second edition in two volumes that they will not let out of the building. I leafed through it and made the determination I would return as soon as they had a copy available.
Now as the evening becomes so in our longer days I savour getting into bed to open the Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant whom I have come to know quite well. His writing seems to have a voice that I can almost imagine. He seems to be a dependable, kind man who rarely has ill to say about anybody. This is one of the first books I have read in a long time where I feel that I am with a friend who is conversing with me.
I am currently reading his account of the Mexican-American War of which the young second lieutenant was most opposed but followed orders, nonetheless.
Consider his account to the events leading to the Battle of Camargo in what is now the state of Tamaulipas. Zachary Taylor’s army of invasion had to cross rivers and move from one evening’s camp to another. Grant was detailed as quartermaster and commissary to the regiment (the 4th).
The teams that had proven abundantly sufficient to transport all the supplies from Corpus Christy to the Rio Grande over the level prairies of Texas, were entirely inadequate to the needs of the reinforced army in a mountainous country. To obviate the deficiency, pack mules were hired, with Mexican to pack and drive them. I had charge of the few wagons allotted to the 4th infantry and of the pack train to supplement them. There were not men enough in the army to manage that train without the help of the Mexicans who had learned how. As it was the difficulty was great enough. The troops would take up their march at an early hour each day. After they had started, the tents and cooking utensils had to be made into packages, so that they could be lashed to the backs of the mules. Sheet-iron kettles, tent poles and mess chests were inconvenient articles to transport in that way. It took several hours to get ready to start each morning, and by the time we were ready some of the mules first loaded would be tired of standing so long with their loads on their backs. Sometimes one would start to run, bowing his back and kicking up until he scattered his load; others would lie down and try to disarrange their loads by attempting to get on the top of them by rolling on them; others with tent-poles for part of their loads would manage to run a tent-pole on one side of a sapling while they would take the other. I am not aware of ever having used a profane expletive in my life; but I would have the charity to excuse those who may have done so, if they were in charge of a train of Mexican pack mules at the time.
Still in his account of the Mexican war Grant cites how Mexican still celebrate two battles they lost, one in Chapultepec and the other at Molino del Rey. He writes:
With us twenty years after the close of the most stupendous war ever known, we have writers –who profess devotion to the nation – engaged in trying to prove that the Union forces were not victorious; practically they say, we were slashed around from Donelson to Vicksburg and to Chattanooga; and in the East from Gettysburg to Appomattox, when the physical rebellion gave out from sheer exhaustion. There is no difference in the amount of romance in the two stories.
I would not have the anniversaries of our victories celebrate, nor those of our defeats made fast days and spent in humiliation and prayer; but I would like to see truthful history written. Such history will do full credit to the courage, endurance and soldierly ability of the American citizen, no matter what section of the country he hailed from, or in what ranks he fought. The justice of the cause which in the end prevailed, will, I doubt not, come to be acknowledged by every citizen of the land, in time. For the present, and so long as there are living witnesses of the great war of sections, there will be people who will not be consoled for the loss of a cause which they believed to be holy. As time passes, people, even in the South, will begin to wonder how it was possible that their ancestors ever fought for or justified institutions which acknowledged the right of property in man.
One of the more interesting but curious fact about these memoirs is that Grant was not a very good judge of men re their ability to be dishonest. He was taken by many and his administration as President of the US was rife with imbroglios of graft of which Grant was not aware of. When Mark Twain found out how much money had been offered to then now bankrupt ex-president he interceded for him. They became friends.
No streaming video of Lincoln in my head
Amdrew Taylor, Esq.
Evil can seem beautiful if the uniforms are just right
Abraham Lincoln and General Don José de San Martín
In Praise Of The Ketchup Sandwich
Thursday, May 23, 2013
My friend Les Wiseman told me many years ago that any food you consumed before you went to bed in the evening would be with you in the morning. What he was saying was that if you ate before bedtime you would gain weight.
Because I have an intermittent sleeping problem I often go to bed with a little plate of Gruyere since they say that a milk product will induce sleep. With a German Gruyere I get at Safeway I may accompany it with a few bread and butter pickles. Because of encroaching plumbing problems I have curtailed that large mug of tea.
There are times when you are hungry for something salty. Rosemary will reluctantly buy Planter’s Dry Roasted Peanuts because it is difficult for both of us to stop, when you open the jar. We like saltines (with sesame seeds) but these produce itchy backs when sleeping. We do not agree with our son-in-law's dictum of never eating in bed. You must consider that we have had daily breakfast in bed for at least 15 years which we enjoy with our New York Times
and Vancouver Sun.
But there are some evenings when I am really hungry and the best thing in the world is a ketchup sandwich in which the bread slices (must be white) are generously buttered (European, unsalted cultural butter, natch). Should the ghost of my friend Les Wiseman suddenly appear I would shoo him away.
The ketchup sandwich just got better. A few days ago while shopping with Rosemary at Save-On I spotted this bottle of Heinz Red Thai (no matter what it says on the label this is indeed ketchup). I must report that Red Thai is excellent. As for my English friend Ian Bateson who opts for HP sauce on his sandwich I can only hope he sees the light soon.
Metamorphosis Of A Breath
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Sometime in 1962 while living in Mexico City I went to a supermarket and purchased Countdown – Time in Outer Space – The Dave Brubeck Quartet
. The album (a mono recording as I did not have a stereo phonograph in 1962) is dedicated to Lieut. Col. John Glenn, Jr.
Amazing, to this 70 year-old, I listened to the 52 year-old record last night which I played on my Sony (linear tracking) PS–X555-ES turntable. I have a Stanton cartridge on the pickup. The sound of the record was superb and I felt that same thrill I had experienced back in 1962.
As I listened to the record (I have some very nice JBL speaker monitors and an Acoustic Research stereo amplifier) I was scanning the pictures of the very beautiful Caroline Matthews which I posted yesterday
In 1988 when I took the pictures I used an optical spotlight, Ilford FP-4 b+w film and a 140mm lens on my Mamiya RB-67 Pro-S. At the time I was concerned and interested with contrast. Extreme contrast helped iron out the minor imperfections that even perfect woman somehow had. If you note the contact sheet seen here you will see that I exposed the contact sheet to show the face and ignored the fact that detail around her was obscured.
In order to get shadow detail, something that I understood in 1988 for one very big reason. Reproduction of photographs to magazines and newspapers did not include the modern day scanners. This meant that to reproduce a true black the photograph had to be a shiny glossy. The glossy side of photographs (we might think that glossy looks cheap now) was the only way to ensure a good black. Matte prints might have looked nice then but the matte finish produced muddy grays in magazines and newspapers.
If you happened to send a photograph of a person with black hair next to a black wall with no separation (the purpose of hair lights in those days) to a magazine you were probably sacrificing a career in business with that magazine. It was virtually impossible to get details in the shadows.
Our digital age with good scanners (matte or glossy makes no difference) and digital printers (and no scanner needed if the images are digital to begin with) has produced a situation where almost any kind of photograph can be “saved” for publication.
|Modified with Shadow/Highlight|
The new is in many cases better than the old. But I would defy many of my friends with smart phones, MP-3 files and ear buds to tell me without any shadow of doubt that their sound, is better than the sound I routinely listen to in my living room.
Paradoxically sound these days can be glorious but people opt for convenience over quality. The same might apply (as seen by this old-stuff guy) to how people approach photography now.
|Further work with Shadow/Highlight and with Levels|
Going back to the original topic of how to get shadow detail I must now confess that it has never been easier (only if the detail is there as it is in my negatives shown here) than with a decent scanner (an Epson Perfection V700 Photo) and a good monitor (in my case an obsolete Dell Cathode Ray Tube Monitor). To ease in the operation I have Photoshop CS Version 8.0 which is about 8 years old). This Photoshop has a tool called Shadow/Highlight which helps diminish the tendency of scanners to add contrast to a picture. Shadow/Highlight can bring in details easily for which I might have to use every trick in the book (including premium variable contrast photographic paper) to almost mimic (but not quite!) the results of a good scan and a giclée printed by my good friend and expert on this sort of thing, Grant Simmons at DISC
Until now I have despaired at the disappearance of Agfa and of its very good photographic paper Portriga. This paper had an almost uncanny (other papers could do this to some extent but not as well) in being able to split tone. This meant that when the finished print was immersed in a very strong solution of Kodak Selenium Toner, the photograph would go warm in the shadows (magenta/sepia but cold, cyan in the highlights. Recently I found a box of 100 sheets of 8x10 Portriga in my darkroom. The box must be at least 13 years old. But it is still good.
And yet, the pictures of Caroline Matthews in which I “abused” the Photoshop Shadow/Highlight tool do show a startling and to me attractive split toning.
Paradoxically few who might learn this trick will go as far as having the picture printed as hard copy. What a pity, that we live in a world where flat design, a movement perhaps fomented by monitor viewing, is paramount.
Waltz Limp- Dave Brubeck Quartet
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
As my Facebook friend, Page Turner has told me, I should feel very lucky to have photographed so many beautiful women in my life. I have been giving the idea of beautiful women much thought today and I am not in the least inclined to write a deep essay on the subject. I have spent most of my day moving plants in the garden with my spade and every joint in my body is in pain. I originally had the idea of posting one photograph here with no words and to let the photograph speak for itself. But after looking at the file called Caroline Matthews, one of the most beautiful of all the women I have ever photographed I feel that some sort of explanation is needed.
Caroline Matthews used to work at the Railway Club some 25 years ago which is when I took these photographs of her. Photographer, illustrator and writer friends of mine would meet for lunch on Thursdays. I always looked forward to going into the club and loosing my breath just looking at Matthews. Some of us with twisted tastes would complain to Matthews that the curtains weren’t just right on the windows on the hopes that she would get up on a stool to adjust them. I believe she knew our game and was game to show, she wore mini skirts, some thigh for us.
Perhaps some 6 years ago I ran into her on Granville Island and she was as beautiful as ever. She is a schoolteacher in Surrey.
I begin the series with the upside-down picture of her. I have made this sort of thing one of the better tools of my trade as upside-down photos are not easy. But I also enjoy the idea that some of you reading this or just looking at the pictures will twist your face in order to see the picture right side up. This is definitely not kosher. But then that’s your choice.
Curtains From Thanatos
Monday, May 20, 2013
HERSEE, Philip - (Age 68)
Passed on March 20, 2013. He is survived by his wife Hilda, son Dustin, sister Monica, brothers Stephen (Kirsty), Ian and relatives in Canada and the UK. Service will be held Monday, April 1, 2013 from 11 am to 2 pm at St. George's School Chapel (3851 West 29th Avenue, Van., V6S 1T6). In lieu of flowers, donations to BC Cancer Foundation.
Published in the Vancouver Sun on March 29, 2013
|Our living room window to the front garden|
When I arrived to Vancouver in 1975 it took me a while before I could become a photographer. I began to struggle as one around 1977 and Phil Hersee was well established with a nice studio in Gastown. He soon was a pioneer in the new business of shooting stills for the growing film industry of Vancouver.
Because we were in different fields, I was shooting for magazines, I never dealt with Hersee nor did I ever get to know him. I remember him as a handsome man with a neat moustache and a clipped British accent. More often than not he had a smile on his face. About 18 years ago he self-published a book about Vancouver with his beautiful colour takes.
Rosemary, our daughters Ale and Hilary moved to our present location on Athlone Street in 1986. The living room has two huge windows on either end and windows on the side. The dining room also has a very large window overlooking the front garden. Next to the living room is our den which has a window that faces our back garden. At certain times in the afternoon watching TV in the den or sitting to type at my computer in the living room becomes impossible. The sun glares.
The reason is that we never bothered to get curtains. We toyed with Venetian blinds, roller blinds and conventional drapes but we never got to it. The views into our living room and dining room are somewhat partially obscured by the dense vegetation of our garden. Perhaps some of my neighbours while walking their dogs might have spied me sitting at this monitor in the evenings while not wearing a stitch.
During the early spring and throughout the hot summer days Rosemary places old sheets on the wooden floors of the living room and dining room. She indicates that our carpets have faded.
At age 70 if I work all day in the garden, I regret it the next day and I can not move without feeling arthritic pain. It is obvious that our big garden with its two full-time gardeners (Rosemary and her husband) is a job that soon will be an impossible one. Finances make it tough to paint the house, repair the bathrooms and do the other pressing things that any old house needs.
It is obvious, and everybody tells us to (damn that word!) downsize into a condo to free ourselves from the stress of our big house and garden.
Thinking of downgrading (a much nastier version of downsizing) can be, in itself, most stressful. There are all those books, all the Mexican memorabilia, the antique furniture, the 14, four-drawer metal cabinets with slides and negatives, the pictures on the wall, the 85 roses, the over 400 hostas, the records, the tapes the CDs and the list continues. Our two cats?
In the past I have seen buildings that are to be torn down in a near future. Nobody sees to repairs. Having had many cars with a slipping clutch, I have shelled out thousands in repairs even after my repairman would tell me, “Your clutch might go next week, or it might last for another month or, who knows, even a year. I have nursed these clutches by not gunning the accelerator and I have discovered that indeed the clutch will last up to a year and gas savings are another positive factor of lessening the pressure on the gas pedal.
The slipping clutch has taught me that life in general is driving to a destination where if one is extra careful the car will become inoperable only when one reaches it. In a model for efficiency one has arrived with no clutch to spare.
For some years the clutch (a slipping one) has been my mantra for my life.
I began to have doubts three years ago before my friend Abraham Rogatnick died of untreated (he decided to let go a year before) prostate cancer. A month before his death he was pretty well in a wheelchair. Access to his house, and exit, was impossible. He had a carpenter build him an elaborate winding ramp from his kitchen to the back garden and his garage. His friend, wheelchair bound Mayor Sam Sullivan was going to retrofit Rogatnick's car so that he could enter his car and drive it.
The ramp was a sight to behold. It was beautiful, simply because the designer, Rogatnick was a graduate of Harvard Architecture School.
When Rogatnick died, his house was sold and eventually torn down I thought of the waste of talent and money to build that elaborate ramp that was never used.
Sometime last November my friend and camera repairman, Horst Wenzel told me, “Alex, your colleague Phil Hersee was here the other day to have some cameras repaired. He is looking pretty good even though he is not well.” I inquired about Hersee’s health at Beau Photo and I was told he had a serious and terminal case of colon cancer, but that it did not prevent him from visiting Beau to purchase or rent camera supplies. It seemed that for Hersee, business was as usual.
I have been giving Hersee’s approach to life (and death) some thought. I watch Rosemary buy plants for our garden. Aren’t we going to sell our house with garden soon? Who cares if the floors fade? The house will become a teardown as soon as we sell it, besides the floors are already faded after 27 years of uncurtained windows.
I have seen the light. One cannot live thinking that one must protract one’s activities because death is just around the corner. Hersee knew this and from that other side I can almost imagine him smiling with that neat moustache of his in approval that I have seen the light, before it is too late.
The better part about all this is that my wife Rosemary has known all along. I have ordered a roller blind for the den and if Rosemary likes it I will order some for the rest of the windows. Rogatnick would have approved.
Sunday, May 19, 2013
Rain By Jorge Luis Borges
The afternoon has brightened suddenly
Because it already rains minutely
Falling or fallen. Rain is one thing
Which undoubtedly happens only in the past.
Who hears it fall retrieves a recovered
Time that a venturesome luck
Revealed to him a flower by the name of rose
And the curious color of red.
This rain that clouds the windows
Will gladden in those lost suburbs
The black grapes of a vine in certain
Patio that is no more. The sodden
Afternoon brings me a much wanted voice, the desired voice,
Of my father who returns and who has not died.
La Lluvia de Jorge Luis Borges
Bruscamente la tarde se ha aclarado
Porque ya cae la lluvia minuciosa.
Cae o cayó. La lluvia es una cosa
Que sin duda sucede en el pasado.
Quien la oye caer ha recobrado
El tiempo en que la suerte venturosa
Le reveló una flor llamada rosa
Y el curioso color del colorado.
Esta lluvia que ciega los cristales
Alegrará en perdidos arrabales
Las negras uvas de una parra en cierto
Patio que ya no existe. La mojada
Tarde me trae la voz, la voz deseada,
De mi padre que vuelve y que no ha muerto.