|Rosemary & Alexandra 1969|
It is difficult for me to turn off the light every evening before I retire. I can feel this presence of my Rosemary, that while being a vacant one, seems to be even more acutely there.
It is almost instantly softened and slightly diminished as both my cats Niño and Niña manoeuvre to get as close to me as possible. There is their palpable warmth and the presence of two live spirits that comforts me with the knowledge that I am not alone.
Today after I turned off the lights I had Rosemary memory photographs creep up in my head.
I thought and wondered, “Had I been a lawyer, not a photographer, would my memories be different and perhaps more difficult to conjure? Of not having the many photographs that I have of Rosemary to look at, in albums, on the living room wall, inside the guest bathroom, at the entrance to our bedroom and now this photograph that I have scanned?"
The story behind it is that I may have printed it in 1971 in our Arboledas, Estado de México domestic service bathroom. Going through stuff in the garage attic I spotted it and showed it to my daughter Alexandra (in the photograph she is). I told her that I had made a little leather-bound portfolio to show wealthy Mexican families as I searched for work. The fact is that I became quite successful and our neighbours tried to dissuade us from moving to Vancouver.
That the photograph I printed is half a century old and it looks perfect does attest to my having washed it properly for archival permanence.
Since I no longer have a darkroom I could print it as a
superior inkjet. But my daughter and I agree that this is special. I will have it framed for her and make sure that the glass filters out ultraviolet light.
I keep thinking when will this very long contact sheet of photographic memories of my Rosemary persist?
I have come to the conclusion that they, too, are archival and they will not fade. I am so glad I am a photographer and not a lawyer.