Blog 3001Monday, February 24, 2014
If even dying is to be made a social function, then, please, grant me the favour of sneaking out on tiptoe without disturbing the party.
Yesterday Sunday I put up my 3000th blog. Today, in spite of the beautiful snow outside, I feel melancholic.
I may have written here before that when my mentor Raúl Guerrero Montemayor died in January 2013 I lost all desire to return to Mexico City a city of part of my youth with many warm memories of family and friends.
When I visited my Buenos Aires, the place of my birth this last September I felt alienated. Buildings (unlike Vancouver) were still there as most of the corners (Argentines think of intersecting corners and the names of the streets that do it, a lot) were still there but my nostalgic past was only in my head. I felt alienated.
In April my religious mentor (and of everything else) died. I now have no reason to return to Austin, Texas and the former campus of St. Edward’s High School. I have memories that do not recede. Only the people in those memories recede by death.
A place where I have done photographic business as a customer for close to 30 years only last week refused me technical advice. It seems that the camera I was enquiring about I had purchased in another shop to which I had also had business for 30 years.
A young photographer only today told me I was a good photographer. What a pleasant surprise that was!
In Spanish we have a term, “un zero a la izquierda” or a zero to the left. Basic math will tell you that 0.1, 00.1 and 0000.1 are all the same number. That zero on the left of that decimal point is superfluous, better word, redundant.
Perhaps I have done better in measured minutes than Andy Warhol would have predicted. I feel tired if not quite tired.
I miss my former family and the warmth of family gatherings in which children had their own table. I miss going with my mother on tram 35 to visit my grandmother and hear my mother play the piano while my grandmother sang with her beautiful coloratura soprano voice. I miss my wife Rosemary when she was far more romantic than she is now. I could be at fault. I miss all the cats I buried in our garden. I miss my eldest granddaughter when she was a precocious under 10. I miss being called by a magazine and being sent a manuscript to which I would imagine a photograph and then, that thought of imagination would become the reality of that latent image that slowly emerged in my photographic tray.
I miss having photographer associates with whom we would discuss methods and compare notes. Sometimes we only discussed the subjective merits of one studio lighting system over another.
I miss my Argentine painter friends. I could call them (before they left for Buenos Aires in separate airplanes) at any time of the day or night and I was invited to have a mate and chat about projects, books, history, art, music, dance and food. They are gone and have left a vacancy in my heart and mind that cannot be replaced by a good movie, a good book, a good play, a good concert. I know few, if any, with whom I can share those experiences. I am alienated in Buenos Aires, Austin, Mexico City and now in that Vancouver of cyan/blue/gray skies.
There is a word in Spanish, “inquieto” which loosely translates as uneasy. I feel inquieto but that feeling is one of intellectual and artistic uncertainty. I am somewhere in the middle of two entities. One is the certainty of what I have experienced up to now the other a sure knowledge of the certainty of death but tinged by the uncertainty of the shorter future in front of me in the atmosphere of a world of constant change.
In times likes this one I find it startling that my first concern is to make sure Rosemary knows the passwords and the arrangements I have with those who service my blog on line. I don’t want the plug to be pulled by circumstances of neglect.