Today is April the 9th. My Rosemary died on December 9. Time has not helped me heal in any way.
In our last trip to Buenos Aires in September 2019 on the Sunday market at Plaza Dorrego in the old barrio of San Telmo I told Rosemary, “I can hear Ástor Piazzolla’s Oblivion being played." We walked a few yards and found a harmonica player and a guitarist playing the haunting tune.
Piazzolla named his composition Oblivion (in English) because he knew there was no equivalent in Spanish. Olvido translates as not remembering. Oblivion implies no feeling, thought or memory. To me oblivion is what one faces upon death. There is nothing on that other side.
I now have come to realize, that my only escape from my present melancholy is not going to be the passing of time. Only oblivion will bring relief (even if that relief is not noticed, felt or realized).
Meanwhile as I turn off the light at night and I look at the window side of my bed ( formerly occupied by Rosemary) I know that the view at one time would have been different as her live (or live and asleep) presence would have wonderfully blocked that view. That presence is now a vacancy and that vacancy is as present as if she were there.
Last night I woke up to my Rosemary’s voice, She said either “Papi” (what our daughters call me) or she said “Casi" who was her dear departed male cat. It was obviously a dream but her voice was loud and with good diction but that my waking up prevented me from identifying correctly.
During the day I have the distraction of the menial tasks of vacuuming, taking out the garbage, emptying the kitty litter box, washing the clothes and brushing my teeth. But it is impossible not to note her missing presence.
The worst is the garden. As I prepare the garden for an opening (perhaps because of the cold weather now) in early June to the Vancouver Rose Society, I keep finding hidden plants on the ground or in little pots hidden by big pots. Rosemary bought plants behind my back. She would never tell me about them until they became a beautiful reality.
Working in this garden, more evident now that it is Rosemary’s, is like rifling through what’s left of her underwear drawer. It brings instant tears. My only relief comes with the realization that I have to make this garden as lovely as she would make it.
And there is the relief of my cats Niño and Niña. They cling to me and this adds to my listlessness. I want to do nothing. I have been avoiding to be where I am right now, writing this. I am no writer but it seems like I am suffering from a terrible writer’s block.
I can smile when I look at this photograph illustrating this bitácora (in Spanish a ship’s log which I prefer to the Anglo blog). But it also leaves me with an empty and sad feeling. I wish my own oblivion.
But I may add that when I do turn off the lights in the bedroom and the two cats get on top of me, I know that I am not completely alone. This is comforting.
Can oblivion wait?