En el Infierno Había un Violoncello
Saturday, March 06, 2021
En infierno había un violoncello... Rosa Chacel
En el infierno había un violoncello
entre el café y el humo de pitillos
y cien aulas con libros amarillos
y nieve y sangre y barro por el suelo.
Pero tú, resguardada por el velo
de tus cristales de lucientes brillos,
pasabas, seria y pura, en los sencillos
compases de tu fe y de tu consuelo.
Algunas veces fuimos, de la mano,
por las venas del bosque y la corneja
cantó melancolía en nuestras almas,
si nos separa el Abrego inhumano,
no llores mi amistad hoy que se aleja,
entrega al viento el talle de tus palmas.
Rosa Chacel, in hell there was a cello...
In hell there was a cello between coffee and cigarette smoke
and a hundred classrooms with yellow books, and snow and blood and mud on the ground.
But you, guarded by the veil
of your crystals of lucient glitters,
you passed, serious and pure, in the singles
beats of your faith and your comfort.
Sometimes we went, hand in hand,
Through the veins of the forest and the corneja
sang melancholy in our souls.
If the inhuman abbreviation separates us,
do not cry my friendship today that goes away
Deliver to the wind the size of your palms.
Beyond the Grave - A Posthumous Gift
Friday, March 05, 2021
|Rosa 'Mrs. Oakley Fisher'|
The story on how my 6-year-old mother received a birthday
gift from her father a few days after he died is in this blog which is appropriately
called Beyond the Grave – A Posthumous Gift.
It came to mind with a melancholy tinged with a small smile on
my part when a long slim package delivered by a courier arrived on Thursday March 4th.
Quite a few years ago I visited the then President of the
Vancouver Rose Society, Janet Wood in her corner garden in Southlands. After a
prolonged visit upon leaving I spotted a warm yellow single rose. I asked Wood
its name. She said, “It is Rosa Mrs.
Oakley Fisher.” Upon a further look of the rose I told her, “I am going home to make myself a large mug
of Earl Grey tea. I will put some bread to toast and spread umsalted butter and
apricot jam on it. That is what this rose has inspired me to do.” That was
probably in 2002. By 2003 we had her in our garden. This was a learning curve
for Rosemary who disdained flowers that were yellow, orange and even red. She
always loved white or blue (a rare colour in the botanical kingdom). But
one of her most endearing qualities for
me was that she was a snob.
By the time we had acquired Rosa ‘Leander’,‘Westerland’ and a mystery rose we rescued from a
nearby demolition, she was okay with orange. The mystery rose was identified by
Select Roses owner Brad Jalbert who when he visited our garden said, “I never thought I would ever find Rosa ‘All That Jazz’ in your garden!
Both Rosemary and I fell in love with Mrs. Oakley Fisher, a 1921 single Hybrid
Tea Rose with which I took an iconic portrait of our granddaughter Rebecca in
When we moved to our little Kits duplex in 2016 we brought
some of our roses (many went to our daughter Ale’s garden in Lillooet. We
planted Mrs. Oakley Fisher but she was not happy with the move and finally succumbed
in the spring of 2020.
The long slim package, from Palatine Roses in Ontario, contained
three roses. One was Mrs. Oakley Fisher. The other two are Rosa ‘Escimo’
and ‘Olivier Roellinger. I checked the hardiness zone for these two and noted Rosa
‘Escimo’ (previously called Eskimo!) is for zone 6A while Olivier Roellinger is
5B. Neither would grow in Lillooet. The message here is that Rosemary picked
these two roses for our garden to be company for Mrs. Oakley Fisher as they are
similar in shape.
|Rosa 'Mrs. Oakley Fisher'|
Come May I will look at Mrs. Oakley Fisher and smile at the continuum
in my life that she represents. The other two will be surprises that I will
invariably connect with the loss of my Rosemary who must have smiled (with a
bit of irony) when she ordered them and did not tell me anything. She ordered
them in late September. She must have by then suspected that they would be a
posthumous gift to me.
Mysteriously (but now I know) Rosemary asked me in October to buy two bags of dirt and a medium sized terracotta pot.Today I had to buy a third. All three roses are planted.
Without Rosemary on our 52nd wedding anniversary
Thursday, March 04, 2021
There is a lovely word in Spanish much used by Jorge Luís Borges. The word is rememorar. It would badly translate as to remember again or to
re-remember. In Spanish it sounds awfully romantic.
how I attempt to rememorar I have no
idea when I photographed Vancouver artist (now listed additionally as a
curator) Nicole Steen. But I can see here that we did collaborative work on the spot (thanks
to Polaroid) that I still think is pretty neat.
Gallery seems to be in business as a virtual gallery.
Wednesday, March 03, 2021
|Allison Smith - septiembre 2003|
El olvido es la única venganza y el único
En mis muy
grandes archivos, encontré éste catalogado como Smith, Allison –septiembre 2003.
Tomé 7 fotografías y además de la hoja de contacto hay tres copias de la misma
fotografía, la que aquí aparece.
Al intentar achicar mis archivos tengo que tomar
la decisión. ¿Tiro a esta mujer o la guardo? Para mí me viene una
terrible melancolía con la reciente muerte de mi Rosemary el 8 de diciembre, la
idea de matar una memoria que tengo de esta mujer. Lo único que recuerdo (¿Y
porqué será?) es que la Smith estaba en un apartamento en la Water Street de
Gastown en Vancouver.
Rostro de vos
Tuesday, March 02, 2021
Rostro de vos - Mario Benedetti
Tengo una soledad
tan llena de nostalgias
y de rostros de vos
de adioses hace tiempo
y besos bienvenidos
de primeras de cambio
y de último vagón
tengo una soledad
que puedo organizarla
como una procesión
y por sabor
sin un temblor de más
me abrazo a tus ausencias
que asisten y me asisten
con mi rostro de vos
estoy lleno de sombras
de noches y deseos
de risas y de alguna
mis huéspedes concurren
concurren como sueños
con sus rencores nuevos
su falta de candor
yo les pongo una escoba
tras la puerta
porque quiero estar solo
con mi rostro de vos
pero el rostro de vos
mira a otra parte
con sus ojos de amor
que ya no aman
que buscan a su hambre
miran y miran
y apagan mi jornada
las paredes se van
queda la noche
las nostalgias se van
no queda nada
ya mi rostro de vos
cierra los ojos
y es una soledad
Archives are Where Stuff Goes to Be Lost and Forgotten
Monday, March 01, 2021
Since my Rosemary died on December 9th I have lived a life
in which time passes from one day to the next and nothing seems to happen. When
Rosemary was around I used to wash clothes almost every day. Now the routine is
once a week and I find fewer little tasks to keep my mind occupied. Niña and
Niño don’t help. They cling and follow me everywhere. They lie on my lap during
the day and sleep on top of me at bedtime. And so I have lots of time to think and reflect.
Every evening, as I struggle to fall asleep I vow that on
the next day I will write blogs. And then I don’t.
These blogs, and the blog that I don’t seem to write have
been in my mind as I sift through thousands of family photographs, slides and negatives.
The idea of a legacy is in my mind. I often told Rosemary that if I died before
her I did not want her to install a park bench in my memory anywhere.
My extensive file of photographs that I took for magazines,
etc I have kept in good order and they are in alphabetical order in many metal filing cabinets (seven of them with four drawers each). Would I
donate them to the Vancouver Archives where they would disappear in a flash?
No. I will probably store them in a temperature controlled locker for my two
daughters to deal with if anybody should be interested in some image (for
payment to them!).
I believe that our city archives are where photographs and
documents go to die or disappear. I know that all the wonderful DVDs from
Videomatica went to Simon Fraser University. Would we have access to them? I
doubt that. If you want to take out books in Spanish from the UBC Library you need and expensive library card. Can one get one if one is not studying there? I have no idea.
I know that both the Georgia Straight and the Vancouver Sun
are ignoring the legacy of storing digital media and links to them. In some of
my blogs I have links to Sun articles. Many do not exist anymore. In our city
with such a poor memory of its past the digital age will make that memory
disappear even more quickly.
The Vancouver Sun donated 6 million negatives to the Vancouver Archives a couple of years ago. They obtained a nice tax break. I know that many of those negatives are highly unstable colour negatives from the 80s. At the very least they must be refrigerated. And compute an average of one minute to scan onr of those negatives and then multiply that by six million. Is anybody going to do that?
I know that I had a striking cover of Dennis Hopper on the Georgia Straight on the March 27-April
3, 1987 issue. The article was one of the first that John Armstrong wrote for
the paper. We had driven to Seattle to interview the man. I know all this
because a copy of that cover and the negatives I took of Hopper are in my
files. Might this be found in the Vancouver Archives? How about the Vancouver Public Library? At
the Straight? I don’t believe the Straight will be around much longer. What
will happen to their hard copy archives?
Does anybody care?
This brings me to what has been in my thoughts these past
weeks. I believe that my 5400 blogs are a repository of my thoughts and would
interest my family. But there are lots of blogs on stuff about Vancouver that
someone might think valuable. Because a blog has internet links it is virtually
impossible to make a copy of it in which access to it would be easy. I believe
I will have to trust my blog in a cloud and my family will have to pay the
yearly domain and blog hosting fee. My friend Tim Bray who has a very fine and
large blog called Ongoing wants to store it for posterity not only for his
family but also for the digital world of which he is such an expert.
This brings me to the question. Does the Vancouver Archive
platform also include for things digital?