These difficult days for me in April where I cannot stop thinking how I miss the presence of my Rosemary I do menial stuff to keep me busy. I have even gone to the extreme of finding the existence of a word that is defined as being rare in use. This is menialities.
When I would vacuum our room my Rosemary would ask me to not forget doing it also in our guest room as our eldest daughter might have been coming soon to visit us from Lillooet.
I never leave dishes from my solo meal from one day to the next. I leave my kitchen neat for the next day.
I do a lot of looking at my bedroom ceiling with the two cats on my lap. I blame them for preventing me from dealing with more of those menialities. But the real problem is that Rosemary’s passing has thrown a wrench on my daily blog writing. I avoid doing it during the day and soon in the evening I tell myself that the next day might be a better day. It never is.
Currently there is a French expression in my thoughts. This is raison d'être. I am re-reading for the first time since1962 the writings of that pre-Socratic Epicurus. His views on death that we fear pain and that since once dead there is no pain and thus we should not fear it does nothing to make me feel better or understand why it might not be all that important to find meaning in my daily menialities.
Today I photographed on my monitor the lovely (and intelligent) Emily. I took some shots while we were chatting. They shall appear in a forthcoming blog. More on her here. I was telling her as I snapped that for years I had photographed women draped and not so and my Rosemary would say nothing. I believe she trusted me. Until a year ago I was obsessed with the idea of displaying on a photograph my concept of what is erotic. Suddenly with her gone my interest in the erotic is gone with my diminishing taste for food. It is almost as if I am approaching Epicurus’s non feeling.
Next week Emily will get a new phone clamp (an affix it to a tripod) and position it behind her as she faces her bathroom mirror. We will have a session that will begin with her in her nightie and with no makeup. She will then shower and appear at the mirror with wet hair. She will let me go for the hour that it takes her to dry her hair. She will then pose again while applying her makeup. We will finish with her looking her best with her face all done up.
Why am I suggesting this? In September 1996 I photographed a photographer friend Patrice Bilawka. She had told me and a friend that she was about to leave Vancouver. I pointed out to my friend, Ian McGuffie, that only now that Patrice was leaving that I no longer saw her a one of the boys with whom we took pictures and that she was really also a lovely woman. I asked and she posed. Some of those pictures can be seen here and here.
In my memory I falsely recollect being by my camera in a room separate to the one where she was being made up by Jessica Venturi. Then I saw The Shot and quickly put the longer 250mm lens on my Mamiya and snapped the shutter.
That was not the case as the proof are the three contact sheets here that I took 21 photographs before I snapped on the iconic number 22.
To me this photograph is one of the most sensual (better than that word erotic in this case) I have ever taken. Can I do something similar of Emily with my post-Rosemary existence?