|L Rosa 'Princess Alexandra of Kent', Rosa 'Ebb Tide'& Helichrysum petiolare 29 October 2021|
Because my blog is when I think about it a Dear Diary kind of thing I often write stuff that is a tad personal and my family objects a lot. There is that conundrum of making a blog have content, relevant content to my life without offending others. It is not easy.
Today I went to pick up my new Windows10 computer. I will not plug it in for a few day as I scan the last plants of the season and I consider the problem which I will ultimately solve of converting the new computer to have an ambivalent keyboard. With this computer if I press the Alt key I can get ¡¡¡¡¡, ¿¿¿¿¿, ééé, ñññ, and even ö. It is the most convenient method for me as I write in two languages. I know that the solution with the Windows10 will not be self-evident. I am in fear. This is something strange as I always felt excited when I brought a brand new camera home or as recently my new Epson digital projector with which I plan to bore my Buenos Aires family with a slide show!
As I approach December 9, when my Rosemary died, I know I will not have the inclination of buying a Christmas tree and taking out the decorations from storage. I plant to give my family cheques and I will not buy or wrap Christmas gifts. Rosemary was a keen and very good wrapper. It seems I keep repeating this a lot, “I don’t have the heart to…,” a lot. I simply don’t. The idea of a family Christmas Eve dinner is also something I will not plan for. Traditionally I would make a roast beef (partially in the barbecue) and Rosemary her famous Yorkshire Pudding. I would make the gravy. Again I am not doing any of that.
I keep thinking that I must be a person who might enjoy feeling sorry for himself. I do not get any pleasure. What makes it all worse is that my Niño and Niña cats stare at me when I am not cuddling them or they are cuddling me. I feel bad if I don’t give them attention I feel guilty. "What to they know?" "What do they remember?" These are questions that I keep asking myself.
Today was a sunny day so I took Niño for a walk. He is beautiful to look at and he follows me quite well. I imagine he smiles somewhere inside. I take Rosemary’s route and while I do not believe in ghosts I sense the vacuum of a presence, if there is such a thing.
Because the 21st century has brought us the utility of Google I became curious of the origin of the term “nature abhors a vacuum.” I found it in Wikipedia and I was pleasantly surprised that its origin is ancient and attributed to Aristotle.
In physics, horror vacui, or plenism (/ˈpliːnɪzəm/), commonly stated as "nature abhors a vacuum", is a postulate attributed to Aristotle, who articulated a belief, later criticized by the atomism of Epicurus and Lucretius, that nature contains no vacuums because the denser surrounding material continuum would immediately fill the rarity of an incipient void. He also argued against the void in a more abstract sense (as "separable"), for example, that by definition a void, itself, is nothing, and following Plato, nothing cannot rightly be said to exist. Furthermore, insofar as it would be featureless, it could neither be encountered by the senses, nor could its supposition lend additional explanatory power. Hero of Alexandria challenged the theory in the first century AD, but his attempts to create an artificial vacuum failed. The theory was debated in the context of 17th-century fluid mechanics, by Thomas Hobbes and Robert Boyle, among others, and through the early 18th century by Sir Isaac Newton and Gottfried Leibniz.
Just about everybody I know recommends the ultimate Canadian solution to ills, “Get counselling.”
I argue against this as my grief is made worse (but in one respect more complex, almost interesting) because I think of it all as philosophical problem. Having had a very good philosophy instructor for a year in Mexico in the early 60s in Ramón Xirau I could explain right here the objections of the Greek Atomist, Epicurus and the Roman Atomist, Lucretius cited in the above Wikipedia excerpt.
I don’t know how they, the Atomists, would sense me noting, noticing, and sensing the presence of my Rosemary simply because the presence is not there. Leibniz and Newton also cited, co-discovered without consultation with each other the Calculus. In calculus those minuscule infinitesimals that never disappear, they become smaller and smaller, and reach nonexistence at infinity.
The dent that Rosemary’s body made on our bed just before she died and then when she did die and we waited for her (her?) to be taken away (they were very efficient and quick) will never quite disappear. Unless I burn the mattress.
Is this what I sense of her when I walk Niño? Or is it simply thinking about it conjures that nonexistent presence?
I believe that at age 79 my grief will not go away. But, it will, when I reach my inevitable oblivion. Why did not Newton and Leibniz call their infinity oblivion?
This sorry blog is illustrated with a scan of what may be the two last roses of the season.
But I spoke too soon as I remembered that I have roses in the back lane. In this second scan I have added what I found Rosa ‘Shropshire Lad’ with a bloom and two buds.Rosemary planted those Helichrysum (commonly called the licorice plant) as companions to our roses. With the roses waning it is pristine and startling gray/white. Perhaps I should call it Rosemary's Ghosts.
|Same as above but with Rosa 'Shropshire Lad'|