These awful days, in which everything I see, everywhere I go, everything I remember is all something I shared with my Rosemary, are dreadful. Menialities like passing the vacuum, reading the paper and thinking about dinner can barely distract me.
There is one solace besides the company of my two cats, Niño and Niña. This is a slim volume (not like the more recent one illustrating this blog), nicely bound in leather by a French bookmaker Millioud in Mexico many years ago. It is Dag Hammarsköld’s memoirs/diary Markings (found in his desk after his death) translated into English by Leif Sjöberg and W.H. Auden.
I have written about Markings before here.
In this 21st century it is awfully popular to put some maxim in big print by a famous person (why so many actors?) on a colourful box.
To me they are worthless as they are mostly out of context. Or as my grandmother would often tell me, "Saludar con sombrero ajeno," or, saying hi with someone's else's hat."
Nobody really got to know Hammarskjöld all that well. His death in an airplane crash on September 18 1961, came as a surprise to the many who saw this man as a colourless, remote Scandanavian but honest man.
I often leaf through the book which I have marked with my little plastic markers from Staples. They do not damage the book and as little boy I was taught by Juan Domingo Perón to never deface a book (before he started a campaign to burn them).
Today, feeling almost overwhelmed by melancholy I went to Markings.
Here are some of the ones I have noted with stickies (and with pen when I did not know any better).
The pulley of time drags us inexorably forward toward this last day. A relief to think of this, to consider that there is a moment without beyond. I can test everything between the finger and thumb of the chooser, everything – except this. When days and years are fused into a single moment, its every aspect illumined by the light of death, measurable only by the measure of death.
If even dying is to be made into a social function, then, please, grant me the favour of sneaking out on tiptoe without disturbing the party.
|Rosemary & Niña shortly before she died
What makes loneliness an anguish
Is not that I have no one to share my burden,
I have only my own burden to bear.