|Rosa 'St. Swithun'& Gentiana asclepiadea - 5 August 2021|
Words and expressions, after lots of use, suffer a modification of their meaning or become useless in putting across a point with them.
I often tell my friends that “at the end of the day if I want to move forward, and this is clinically proven to be effective 99.9%”, one could substitute, perhaps, at sundown for at the end of the day!
This is only a pet peeve for me. I wonder how many in this century may know what that means. I despise the expression, “I want to put Iceland in my bucket list,” even though I would love to go to that country and connect with my dancer friend Sandrine Cassini who teaches dance there.
But share is a word that in its use, especially in social media, has lost its original and wonderful coinage.
If one speaks in two languages, as I do, it is interesting to find a word in one language and how it translates to another.
In the case of share, in Spanish the verb is compartir. While in Spanish con not com, meaning with, it used here, it is probably a case of old misspelling or the fact that it is easier to pronounce the verb with an m. Partir is to split or cut. It comes from the action (I believe) of Christ holding a loaf of bread and before sharing it (breaking bread) tells his apostles, “Do this in remembrance of me.”
To me compartir is a lovely word, as lovely as the frequently (not in English, speak or chat is the substitute) used conversar which literally means to speak in verse. To share thus to me has the idea of giving a part of oneself.
The social media use of share is for individuals to go to that huge area in the digital skay where one removes a famous song video, or whatever and one shares it in one’s social media page. Rarely does the sharer mention its personal importance. To me this is akin to certain US politician throwing paper towels to a large group of needy people.
To share has to be more. This is why my loss of my Rosemary after a 52 year marriage has troubled my soul for so long since her death on December 9 of 2020. Living in a house that I shared with her (almost five years in Kits but full of furniture, mementos from our other houses) is a constant reminder of that time shared. The worst part is my daily visits to the garden that was ours. Her little plants, her gray plants, her love of the details of small things, is something that I cannot erase from my mind.
The scanning of a portrait on a good monitor means that I get to know a friend, a relative or even a stranger’s face, quite intimately. The scanning and the fixing of my plant scans takes me to magnifications that only now I understand my Rosemary was aware of and that she could see them when she tenderly, on her knees or bum worked on her flower beds.
For many years, since 2001, I have been scanning the plants and flowers of the garden. At first the roses were my thing, and of late I am preparing what will eventually be a presentation to the American Hosta Society conventio in Minnesota next year on the beauty of the often ignored hosta flowers.
My approach has also been a different one in the last few months. I rarely scan a plant, a rose, or anything else in isolation.
In our new deck garden (it does have three flower beds and one in the back lane) with our reduced space, we began the experiment of growing roses in large clay pots. Other plants went is smaller containers. But thanks to Rosemary’s idea that plants should share (yes share!) space with other plants, and she used that nice expression companions, I have been scanning plants together as is the case in the scan illustrating this blog.
Rosemary loved plants with blue flowers. Years ago my Argentine artist friend Juan Manuel Sánchez (sadly gone now) placed on my hand a Chilean translation of Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain, telling me that I should read it. I did and I was particularly interested that gentians are often mentioned in the novel and that they grow well in Switzerland. So I brought a Gentiana asclepiadea one day and it became a fave or Rosemary’s.
The rose, Rosa ‘St Swithun’ is an English Rose. Sometime in the early 90s Rosemary came home from a plant show at VanDusen Botanical Garden. She said, “There is this rose that I absolutely want to have. Because it is show specimen the grower has told me to go early tomorrow, when the show is about to close and she will sell it.” We went and bought it. What attracted Rosemary to this pink rose (she often told me that she could not understand why I liked and had so many pink roses)? St. Swithun has an intense scent that the English call myrrh. It is a scent that only sophisticates like Rosemary could appreciate as some consider the scent to be medicinal.
Since St. Swithun has a stronger scent than other English Roses. I adore the scent.
It is just another way that I cannot stop from remembering as I scanned the rose, that Rosemary keeps sharing with me and will for as long as I live.