A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.




 

Wisdom Socks
Tuesday, April 21, 2015




My abuelita Dolores Reyes de Irureta Goyena and I were pals. Abue and I were pals from the moment I can remember her when I was 5or 6 until she died in 1970. She considered herself an artist (she painted and was a coloratura soprano) so she protected me from stuff in the presence of my father and mother telling them they simply did not understand the mind of an artist. Like her, she told them, I was an artist.

Throughout our friendly and very close relationship my grandmother showered me with the advice that came from a woman who had lived. Her most often repeated maxim, when I was wowed at the fact that she always seemed to be right was, “Más sabe el diablo por viejo que por diablo.”  This translates to, “The devil is wise not because he is the devil but because he is an old man.”

As I watch my plants in our garden and I know what they are doing and why they are thriving or not, I understand that I have invaluable information in my head that does not come from books but from having observed my garden for many years. I am not particularly worried or upset that I will die with all this information in my head not extracted. It will fade away with my body and whatever else is part of it into oblivion.


The sunnier side of all this has been explored by many a Hollywood film where an adult goes back in time to the body of their youth with their mature mind and experience intact.

Often we men when discussing the manly pursuit of women we tell each other, “If we had only known then what we know now! We would have been unstoppable with the girls.”

It would seem that practical wisdom comes late in life when there are only two possible uses for it. One is to impart it to whoever might listen or to go to the grave with it. Unless of course you decide to have a post mid-life crisis, you dump your wife, buy a red Jag and go for a middle-aged redhead. The wisdom that comes from having lived long immediately nixes that and you find yourself content in the idea that you no longer rake leaves in the garden (and break your back) but simply scoop them up with the vacuum effect of a good mulching lawnmower.

Photographically I used to shoot rolls and rolls. That with time became rolls and then roll. In the last few years that roll becomes one or two exposures. With my digital camera I use the same philosophy. You know when you have your picture and you need not go on and waste shutter finger energy.

My wife says I live in the past and yet her approach to many things is through the wisdom of hindsight. She often tells me, “We should have done this.”

My Abuelita knew better. Her maxim was, “Nadie te quita lo bailado.” This translates to, “Nobody can take away dances danced and pleasures had even if the present brings pain and worry.”

My illustration here is a scan of one of my Mark’s Work Wearhouse socks. I own 10 pairs. They are black so I can wear them with a suit but they are sporty enough to wear with jeans. Best of all I never have mismatched socks. And that terrible syndrome of the loss of the matching sock (the used to go to where clouds come from into a completely blue sky) is reduced to a minimum. Every couple of years I buy one pair of black jeans and two pairs of blue, also at Mark's. The new ones replace the old ones which I relegate to gardening and to cleaning the house.Why did I ever waste so much money (the kind of thought my Rosemary would have) on Levis and Lees?

Is that wisdom? Yes, and I am not even a devil.

As for women, I am not going to look back and kick myself for not knowing what Helmut Newton knew back in the 80s.  I have my very own Maria Ninguém right here at home.





     

Previous Posts
A Surprise - A Commonplace Book At My Vancouver Pu...

Music For The Best Of All Possible Worlds

Doña Petrona de Gandulfo

The Alienation Of My Present

A Pocket Version of Handel & Telemann's Wassermusi...

How Images Affected Me

An American Tune At The Fox, El Greco & Purism

God's Light

In Lieu Of A Blimp

My Fair Lady - It Was Loverly



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8/7/16 - 8/14/16

8/14/16 - 8/21/16

8/21/16 - 8/28/16

8/28/16 - 9/4/16

9/4/16 - 9/11/16

9/11/16 - 9/18/16

9/18/16 - 9/25/16

9/25/16 - 10/2/16

10/2/16 - 10/9/16

10/9/16 - 10/16/16

10/16/16 - 10/23/16

10/23/16 - 10/30/16

10/30/16 - 11/6/16

11/6/16 - 11/13/16

11/13/16 - 11/20/16

11/20/16 - 11/27/16

11/27/16 - 12/4/16

12/4/16 - 12/11/16