|Rosemary 1968 & 2020|
Of memory, particulary of the Borgesian kind, I have written in great detail (link below). But I still think I can add to my concept of memory.
I am 79. My memory is very good except some names are
beginning to fade. I need to use tricks to remember them. I remember Leonard Cohen by remembering Leonard Bernstein first!
But there is one facet of memory that I want to deal with
here. I am purposely using the word facet as its original use is for the faces of
polyhedrons. Think of a diamond and that it has sharp and rectilinear facets. A person's face has many sides (even profiles if you are a portrait photographer).
My Dictionary of the Spanish Language (RAE) defines faceta as:
2. f. Cada uno de los aspectos que se pueden
considerar en una persona o en una cosa.
This translates to every one of the aspects that one can consider in a person or thing.
I am illustrating this blog with three of my photographs of Rosemary. The last one on the right is the most recent one that I took it a few months before she died in December 2020.
So here is my question to myself. When I Remember (randomly or purposely) my Rosemary, is the image in my memory from one of my many photographs of her (a few framed around the house)? Or are they memory images as I remember her from one situation here or there, recent or then?
Others, not portrait photographers might only have a family album for visual reference and they can look at individual pictures in that album. But with hundreds of pictures of Rosemary in my computer and in my negative, print, slide and colour negative files I believe that my memory of my Rosemary is one of many facets.
Obviously if I want to remember Raymond Burr after having seen Rear Window at the Hollywood Theatre with Hilary this last Monday, my memory is threefold. There are the images of Burr I remember from the film (or Perry Mason) or they are of the fact that I met him and photographed him twice. This makes it a tad more complex as I may remember him in the film, him in person and him in my photographs.
I will pose this question, which is the true memory of Burr? I would think that the answer is that all are true.
Because I rarely look at photographs of my father (I have no more than 7) , my memory of him is a fading memory of the times I was with him and before he died in Buenos Aires in 1966. I visited him on weekends. My memory has not recorded our conversations. I will never know why. But strangely I remember his scent which was of a lavender aftershave, Old Smuggler Whiskey and his Player's Navy Cut cigarettes.
Memory, as Borges said many times, involves forgetting first.