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




 

Swatting Flies
Thursday, April 28, 2016





A few weeks ago in Buenos Aires I was walking down Rodriguez Peña Street on my way to the corner with Calle Corrientes. A DVD store on that corner had the only known halfway decent copy of Leopoldo Torre Nilsson’s remarkable1968 Martin Fierro. The film, one that Rosemary and I saw in Mexico City in 1968 (shortly after we were married) is an adaptation of the 1872 epic poem by José Hernandez which was followed in 1879 by a sequel called La vuelta de Martín Fierro. This epic, all in verse is seen as the definitive work about life in the Argentine Pampa in the 19th century and the fight the army waged against the fierce Argentine indigenous peoples who were protecting themselves from the encroachment of the white man’s expansion into the interior of the country.

Suddenly, before I arrived at Corrientes I felt something eerie and I stopped. I looked up and I thought, up there is where my abuelita (grandmother used to live). My mother and I would take tram 35 from our home near Nahuel Huapi and Melián to visit her.There we were met up with warmth. I can assert here that I was mostly educated by my grandmother.


I did not want to take a picture of the apartment with the balcony overlooking the street. I just moved on feeling like a pigeon that had temporarily roosted home.

But I was moved by the coincidence of the apartment and my purchase of the Martín Fierro.

My grandmother was most modern. She never told me not to do this or do that. Her method was to say, “If you do this, the consequence will be that.” For many years she gave me that kind of advice. I was much too ignorant to realize that her advice came from maxims uttered by Sancho Panza in El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha

One she often quoted when I had been hit by some unfortunate event was, “Donde una puerta se cierra otra se abre,” or “where a door closes another opens.” Another when I would refuse to finish the food on my plate was, “El burro que se acostumbró a no comer, se murió,” or “The donkey that refused to eat died.” Similar but funnier in my mind was, “El que por su gusto se muere cantando lo entierran,” or “He who dies by his own pleasure will be buried in song.”

 There were two more that are etched in my head are, “Hacete amigo del juez,” or “Make friends with the judge,” and “El diablo sabe por diablo. Pero más sabe por viejo,” “The devil knows because he is the devil. But he knows more because he is old.”

When I would complain to Abue that I was bored she would tell me, “Chúpate el codo,” “Suck your elbow.” If I was idle she would tell me, “El diablo cuando no tiene nada que hacer con el rabo espanta moscas,” “When the devil is bored he swats flies with his tail.”


And on and on it went and I don’t remember her looking at me in anger. In fact I was saved from many a whipping (with a Filipino slipper a chinela) from my mother because Abue would interject, “You don’t understand Alex. He is an artist like I am.”

While watching Martín Fierro I heard an old crotchety protagonist, el Viejo Viscacha utter the maxim of making friends with the judge and the one about the the devil knows more because…

And so, many years later, I have come to know that my grandmother also read the Martín Fierro.

Why am I using these two photographs of Katheryn Petersen? Why not? But I do have a reason. My grandmother was a product of having been born in the Victorian age. Euphemisms were used for body parts. My fave (it is difficult to translate into English as espalda means a person’s back where the spinal column I located), “Donde la espalda pierde su nombre,” or loosely, “Where a person’s back becomes their rear end.” “La cara fea,” or “the ugly face” was another reference to that nether part. And the evacuation point of the rear end was, “El ojo que no ve,” or “the blind eye!”

Quoting a variation from Hamlet she would go to that special doctor to deal with the Paises Bajos or Lower Countries.




     

Previous Posts
The Water Baby

Ample make this bed

How happy is the little stone

Sleep is supposed to be

Circe A Sirena

Juan Manuel Sánchez y Su Modelo

A Subtle Hot Shot

Not Tupperware Nor Tupperwear but ......wear

Fervor de Buenos Aires

Woman at Her Toilette



Archives
1/15/06 - 1/22/06

1/22/06 - 1/29/06

1/29/06 - 2/5/06

2/5/06 - 2/12/06

2/12/06 - 2/19/06

2/19/06 - 2/26/06

2/26/06 - 3/5/06

3/5/06 - 3/12/06

3/12/06 - 3/19/06

3/19/06 - 3/26/06

3/26/06 - 4/2/06

4/2/06 - 4/9/06

4/9/06 - 4/16/06

4/16/06 - 4/23/06

4/23/06 - 4/30/06

4/30/06 - 5/7/06

5/7/06 - 5/14/06

5/14/06 - 5/21/06

5/21/06 - 5/28/06

5/28/06 - 6/4/06

6/4/06 - 6/11/06

6/11/06 - 6/18/06

6/18/06 - 6/25/06

6/25/06 - 7/2/06

7/2/06 - 7/9/06

7/9/06 - 7/16/06

7/16/06 - 7/23/06

7/23/06 - 7/30/06

7/30/06 - 8/6/06

8/6/06 - 8/13/06

8/13/06 - 8/20/06

8/20/06 - 8/27/06

8/27/06 - 9/3/06

9/3/06 - 9/10/06

9/10/06 - 9/17/06

9/17/06 - 9/24/06

9/24/06 - 10/1/06

10/1/06 - 10/8/06

10/8/06 - 10/15/06

10/15/06 - 10/22/06

10/22/06 - 10/29/06

10/29/06 - 11/5/06

11/5/06 - 11/12/06

11/12/06 - 11/19/06

11/19/06 - 11/26/06

11/26/06 - 12/3/06

12/3/06 - 12/10/06

12/10/06 - 12/17/06

12/17/06 - 12/24/06

12/24/06 - 12/31/06

12/31/06 - 1/7/07

1/7/07 - 1/14/07

1/14/07 - 1/21/07

1/21/07 - 1/28/07

1/28/07 - 2/4/07

2/4/07 - 2/11/07

2/11/07 - 2/18/07

2/18/07 - 2/25/07

2/25/07 - 3/4/07

3/4/07 - 3/11/07

3/11/07 - 3/18/07

3/18/07 - 3/25/07

3/25/07 - 4/1/07

4/1/07 - 4/8/07

4/8/07 - 4/15/07

4/15/07 - 4/22/07

4/22/07 - 4/29/07

4/29/07 - 5/6/07

5/6/07 - 5/13/07

5/13/07 - 5/20/07

5/20/07 - 5/27/07

5/27/07 - 6/3/07

6/3/07 - 6/10/07

6/10/07 - 6/17/07

6/17/07 - 6/24/07

6/24/07 - 7/1/07

7/1/07 - 7/8/07

7/8/07 - 7/15/07

7/15/07 - 7/22/07

7/22/07 - 7/29/07

7/29/07 - 8/5/07

8/5/07 - 8/12/07

8/12/07 - 8/19/07

8/19/07 - 8/26/07

8/26/07 - 9/2/07

9/2/07 - 9/9/07

9/9/07 - 9/16/07

9/16/07 - 9/23/07

9/23/07 - 9/30/07

9/30/07 - 10/7/07

10/7/07 - 10/14/07

10/14/07 - 10/21/07

10/21/07 - 10/28/07

10/28/07 - 11/4/07

11/4/07 - 11/11/07

11/11/07 - 11/18/07

11/18/07 - 11/25/07

11/25/07 - 12/2/07

12/2/07 - 12/9/07

12/9/07 - 12/16/07

12/16/07 - 12/23/07

12/23/07 - 12/30/07

12/30/07 - 1/6/08

1/6/08 - 1/13/08

1/13/08 - 1/20/08

1/20/08 - 1/27/08

1/27/08 - 2/3/08

2/3/08 - 2/10/08

2/10/08 - 2/17/08

2/17/08 - 2/24/08

2/24/08 - 3/2/08

3/2/08 - 3/9/08

3/9/08 - 3/16/08

3/16/08 - 3/23/08

3/23/08 - 3/30/08

3/30/08 - 4/6/08

4/6/08 - 4/13/08

4/13/08 - 4/20/08

4/20/08 - 4/27/08

4/27/08 - 5/4/08

5/4/08 - 5/11/08

5/11/08 - 5/18/08

5/18/08 - 5/25/08

5/25/08 - 6/1/08

6/1/08 - 6/8/08

6/8/08 - 6/15/08

6/15/08 - 6/22/08

6/22/08 - 6/29/08

6/29/08 - 7/6/08

7/6/08 - 7/13/08

7/13/08 - 7/20/08

7/20/08 - 7/27/08

7/27/08 - 8/3/08

8/3/08 - 8/10/08

8/10/08 - 8/17/08

8/17/08 - 8/24/08

8/24/08 - 8/31/08

8/31/08 - 9/7/08

9/7/08 - 9/14/08

9/14/08 - 9/21/08

9/21/08 - 9/28/08

9/28/08 - 10/5/08

10/5/08 - 10/12/08

10/12/08 - 10/19/08

10/19/08 - 10/26/08

10/26/08 - 11/2/08

11/2/08 - 11/9/08

11/9/08 - 11/16/08

11/16/08 - 11/23/08

11/23/08 - 11/30/08

11/30/08 - 12/7/08

12/7/08 - 12/14/08

12/14/08 - 12/21/08

12/21/08 - 12/28/08

12/28/08 - 1/4/09

1/4/09 - 1/11/09

1/11/09 - 1/18/09

1/18/09 - 1/25/09

1/25/09 - 2/1/09

2/1/09 - 2/8/09

2/8/09 - 2/15/09

2/15/09 - 2/22/09

2/22/09 - 3/1/09

3/1/09 - 3/8/09

3/8/09 - 3/15/09

3/15/09 - 3/22/09

3/22/09 - 3/29/09

3/29/09 - 4/5/09

4/5/09 - 4/12/09

4/12/09 - 4/19/09

4/19/09 - 4/26/09

4/26/09 - 5/3/09

5/3/09 - 5/10/09

5/10/09 - 5/17/09

5/17/09 - 5/24/09

5/24/09 - 5/31/09

5/31/09 - 6/7/09

6/7/09 - 6/14/09

6/14/09 - 6/21/09

6/21/09 - 6/28/09

6/28/09 - 7/5/09

7/5/09 - 7/12/09

7/12/09 - 7/19/09

7/19/09 - 7/26/09

7/26/09 - 8/2/09

8/2/09 - 8/9/09

8/9/09 - 8/16/09

8/16/09 - 8/23/09

8/23/09 - 8/30/09

8/30/09 - 9/6/09

9/6/09 - 9/13/09

9/13/09 - 9/20/09

9/20/09 - 9/27/09

9/27/09 - 10/4/09

10/4/09 - 10/11/09

10/11/09 - 10/18/09

10/18/09 - 10/25/09

10/25/09 - 11/1/09

11/1/09 - 11/8/09

11/8/09 - 11/15/09

11/15/09 - 11/22/09

11/22/09 - 11/29/09

11/29/09 - 12/6/09

12/6/09 - 12/13/09

12/13/09 - 12/20/09

12/20/09 - 12/27/09

12/27/09 - 1/3/10

1/3/10 - 1/10/10

1/10/10 - 1/17/10

1/17/10 - 1/24/10

1/24/10 - 1/31/10

1/31/10 - 2/7/10

2/7/10 - 2/14/10

2/14/10 - 2/21/10

2/21/10 - 2/28/10

2/28/10 - 3/7/10

3/7/10 - 3/14/10

3/14/10 - 3/21/10

3/21/10 - 3/28/10

3/28/10 - 4/4/10

4/4/10 - 4/11/10

4/11/10 - 4/18/10

4/18/10 - 4/25/10

4/25/10 - 5/2/10

5/2/10 - 5/9/10

5/9/10 - 5/16/10

5/16/10 - 5/23/10

5/23/10 - 5/30/10

5/30/10 - 6/6/10

6/6/10 - 6/13/10

6/13/10 - 6/20/10

6/20/10 - 6/27/10

6/27/10 - 7/4/10

7/4/10 - 7/11/10

7/11/10 - 7/18/10

7/18/10 - 7/25/10

7/25/10 - 8/1/10

8/1/10 - 8/8/10

8/8/10 - 8/15/10

8/15/10 - 8/22/10

8/22/10 - 8/29/10

8/29/10 - 9/5/10

9/5/10 - 9/12/10

9/12/10 - 9/19/10

9/19/10 - 9/26/10

9/26/10 - 10/3/10

10/3/10 - 10/10/10

10/10/10 - 10/17/10

10/17/10 - 10/24/10

10/24/10 - 10/31/10

10/31/10 - 11/7/10

11/7/10 - 11/14/10

11/14/10 - 11/21/10

11/21/10 - 11/28/10

11/28/10 - 12/5/10

12/5/10 - 12/12/10

12/12/10 - 12/19/10

12/19/10 - 12/26/10

12/26/10 - 1/2/11

1/2/11 - 1/9/11

1/9/11 - 1/16/11

1/16/11 - 1/23/11

1/23/11 - 1/30/11

1/30/11 - 2/6/11

2/6/11 - 2/13/11

2/13/11 - 2/20/11

2/20/11 - 2/27/11

2/27/11 - 3/6/11

3/6/11 - 3/13/11

3/13/11 - 3/20/11

3/20/11 - 3/27/11

3/27/11 - 4/3/11

4/3/11 - 4/10/11

4/10/11 - 4/17/11

4/17/11 - 4/24/11

4/24/11 - 5/1/11

5/1/11 - 5/8/11

5/8/11 - 5/15/11

5/15/11 - 5/22/11

5/22/11 - 5/29/11

5/29/11 - 6/5/11

6/5/11 - 6/12/11

6/12/11 - 6/19/11

6/19/11 - 6/26/11

6/26/11 - 7/3/11

7/3/11 - 7/10/11

7/10/11 - 7/17/11

7/17/11 - 7/24/11

7/24/11 - 7/31/11

7/31/11 - 8/7/11

8/7/11 - 8/14/11

8/14/11 - 8/21/11

8/21/11 - 8/28/11

8/28/11 - 9/4/11

9/4/11 - 9/11/11

9/11/11 - 9/18/11

9/18/11 - 9/25/11

9/25/11 - 10/2/11

10/2/11 - 10/9/11

10/9/11 - 10/16/11

10/16/11 - 10/23/11

10/23/11 - 10/30/11

10/30/11 - 11/6/11

11/6/11 - 11/13/11

11/13/11 - 11/20/11

11/20/11 - 11/27/11

11/27/11 - 12/4/11

12/4/11 - 12/11/11

12/11/11 - 12/18/11

12/18/11 - 12/25/11

12/25/11 - 1/1/12

1/1/12 - 1/8/12

1/8/12 - 1/15/12

1/15/12 - 1/22/12

1/22/12 - 1/29/12

1/29/12 - 2/5/12

2/5/12 - 2/12/12

2/12/12 - 2/19/12

2/19/12 - 2/26/12

2/26/12 - 3/4/12

3/4/12 - 3/11/12

3/11/12 - 3/18/12

3/18/12 - 3/25/12

3/25/12 - 4/1/12

4/1/12 - 4/8/12

4/8/12 - 4/15/12

4/15/12 - 4/22/12

4/22/12 - 4/29/12

4/29/12 - 5/6/12

5/6/12 - 5/13/12

5/13/12 - 5/20/12

5/20/12 - 5/27/12

5/27/12 - 6/3/12

6/3/12 - 6/10/12

6/10/12 - 6/17/12

6/17/12 - 6/24/12

6/24/12 - 7/1/12

7/1/12 - 7/8/12

7/8/12 - 7/15/12

7/15/12 - 7/22/12

7/22/12 - 7/29/12

7/29/12 - 8/5/12

8/5/12 - 8/12/12

8/12/12 - 8/19/12

8/19/12 - 8/26/12

8/26/12 - 9/2/12

9/2/12 - 9/9/12

9/9/12 - 9/16/12

9/16/12 - 9/23/12

9/23/12 - 9/30/12

9/30/12 - 10/7/12

10/7/12 - 10/14/12

10/14/12 - 10/21/12

10/21/12 - 10/28/12

10/28/12 - 11/4/12

11/4/12 - 11/11/12

11/11/12 - 11/18/12

11/18/12 - 11/25/12

11/25/12 - 12/2/12

12/2/12 - 12/9/12

12/9/12 - 12/16/12

12/16/12 - 12/23/12

12/23/12 - 12/30/12

12/30/12 - 1/6/13

1/6/13 - 1/13/13

1/13/13 - 1/20/13

1/20/13 - 1/27/13

1/27/13 - 2/3/13

2/3/13 - 2/10/13

2/10/13 - 2/17/13

2/17/13 - 2/24/13

2/24/13 - 3/3/13

3/3/13 - 3/10/13

3/10/13 - 3/17/13

3/17/13 - 3/24/13

3/24/13 - 3/31/13

3/31/13 - 4/7/13

4/7/13 - 4/14/13

4/14/13 - 4/21/13

4/21/13 - 4/28/13

4/28/13 - 5/5/13

5/5/13 - 5/12/13

5/12/13 - 5/19/13

5/19/13 - 5/26/13

5/26/13 - 6/2/13

6/2/13 - 6/9/13

6/9/13 - 6/16/13

6/16/13 - 6/23/13

6/23/13 - 6/30/13

6/30/13 - 7/7/13

7/7/13 - 7/14/13

7/14/13 - 7/21/13

7/21/13 - 7/28/13

7/28/13 - 8/4/13

8/4/13 - 8/11/13

8/11/13 - 8/18/13

8/18/13 - 8/25/13

8/25/13 - 9/1/13

9/1/13 - 9/8/13

9/8/13 - 9/15/13

9/15/13 - 9/22/13

9/22/13 - 9/29/13

9/29/13 - 10/6/13

10/6/13 - 10/13/13

10/13/13 - 10/20/13

10/20/13 - 10/27/13

10/27/13 - 11/3/13

11/3/13 - 11/10/13

11/10/13 - 11/17/13

11/17/13 - 11/24/13

11/24/13 - 12/1/13

12/1/13 - 12/8/13

12/8/13 - 12/15/13

12/15/13 - 12/22/13

12/22/13 - 12/29/13

12/29/13 - 1/5/14

1/5/14 - 1/12/14

1/12/14 - 1/19/14

1/19/14 - 1/26/14

1/26/14 - 2/2/14

2/2/14 - 2/9/14

2/9/14 - 2/16/14

2/16/14 - 2/23/14

2/23/14 - 3/2/14

3/2/14 - 3/9/14

3/9/14 - 3/16/14

3/16/14 - 3/23/14

3/23/14 - 3/30/14

3/30/14 - 4/6/14

4/6/14 - 4/13/14

4/13/14 - 4/20/14

4/20/14 - 4/27/14

4/27/14 - 5/4/14

5/4/14 - 5/11/14

5/11/14 - 5/18/14

5/18/14 - 5/25/14

5/25/14 - 6/1/14

6/1/14 - 6/8/14

6/8/14 - 6/15/14

6/15/14 - 6/22/14

6/22/14 - 6/29/14

6/29/14 - 7/6/14

7/6/14 - 7/13/14

7/13/14 - 7/20/14

7/20/14 - 7/27/14

7/27/14 - 8/3/14

8/3/14 - 8/10/14

8/10/14 - 8/17/14

8/17/14 - 8/24/14

8/24/14 - 8/31/14

8/31/14 - 9/7/14

9/7/14 - 9/14/14

9/14/14 - 9/21/14

9/21/14 - 9/28/14

9/28/14 - 10/5/14

10/5/14 - 10/12/14

10/12/14 - 10/19/14

10/19/14 - 10/26/14

10/26/14 - 11/2/14

11/2/14 - 11/9/14

11/9/14 - 11/16/14

11/16/14 - 11/23/14

11/23/14 - 11/30/14

11/30/14 - 12/7/14

12/7/14 - 12/14/14

12/14/14 - 12/21/14

12/21/14 - 12/28/14

12/28/14 - 1/4/15

1/4/15 - 1/11/15

1/11/15 - 1/18/15

1/18/15 - 1/25/15

1/25/15 - 2/1/15

2/1/15 - 2/8/15

2/8/15 - 2/15/15

2/15/15 - 2/22/15

2/22/15 - 3/1/15

3/1/15 - 3/8/15

3/8/15 - 3/15/15

3/15/15 - 3/22/15

3/22/15 - 3/29/15

3/29/15 - 4/5/15

4/5/15 - 4/12/15

4/12/15 - 4/19/15

4/19/15 - 4/26/15

4/26/15 - 5/3/15

5/3/15 - 5/10/15

5/10/15 - 5/17/15

5/17/15 - 5/24/15

5/24/15 - 5/31/15

5/31/15 - 6/7/15

6/7/15 - 6/14/15

6/14/15 - 6/21/15

6/21/15 - 6/28/15

6/28/15 - 7/5/15

7/5/15 - 7/12/15

7/12/15 - 7/19/15

7/19/15 - 7/26/15

7/26/15 - 8/2/15

8/2/15 - 8/9/15

8/9/15 - 8/16/15

8/16/15 - 8/23/15

8/23/15 - 8/30/15

8/30/15 - 9/6/15

9/6/15 - 9/13/15

9/13/15 - 9/20/15

9/20/15 - 9/27/15

9/27/15 - 10/4/15

10/4/15 - 10/11/15

10/18/15 - 10/25/15

10/25/15 - 11/1/15

11/1/15 - 11/8/15

11/8/15 - 11/15/15

11/15/15 - 11/22/15

11/22/15 - 11/29/15

11/29/15 - 12/6/15

12/6/15 - 12/13/15

12/13/15 - 12/20/15

12/20/15 - 12/27/15

12/27/15 - 1/3/16

1/3/16 - 1/10/16

1/10/16 - 1/17/16

1/31/16 - 2/7/16

2/7/16 - 2/14/16

2/14/16 - 2/21/16

2/21/16 - 2/28/16

2/28/16 - 3/6/16

3/6/16 - 3/13/16

3/13/16 - 3/20/16

3/20/16 - 3/27/16

3/27/16 - 4/3/16

4/3/16 - 4/10/16

4/10/16 - 4/17/16

4/17/16 - 4/24/16

4/24/16 - 5/1/16

5/1/16 - 5/8/16

5/8/16 - 5/15/16

5/15/16 - 5/22/16

5/22/16 - 5/29/16

5/29/16 - 6/5/16

6/5/16 - 6/12/16

6/12/16 - 6/19/16

6/19/16 - 6/26/16

6/26/16 - 7/3/16

7/3/16 - 7/10/16

7/10/16 - 7/17/16

7/17/16 - 7/24/16

7/24/16 - 7/31/16

7/31/16 - 8/7/16

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