Even though 72 years have transpired since I last spent a Good Friday with my mother and grandmother in Buenos Aires I still await the day with a tad of depression on what is really a sombre day. No matter what your religious beliefs may be, a day about a death is a day that is one for darkish reflection. In Spanish deep shade is sombra so the root to latin under/shade is much more obvious. And sombre in Spanish is sombrio.
The Argentina that my mother wrote about in her poem (below) Argentine Nostalgia has dramatically changed since she wrote about it in December 1956. But she may have been right about the sombre people she remembers. With terrible inflation and an uncertain future of monetary default there is little to be happy about in my Argentina of today.
Every time I read this poem I am hit with nostalgia for Buenos Aires. But this is complicated as there is the Buenos Aires before we left for Mexico in 1953, the Buenos Aires of my two years in the Argentine Navy in the mid-60s. A Buenos Aires I returned thrice in the late 80s, 90s and early 2000s and then there is the Buenos Aires that I went with my Rosemary after that. And another, the one this last Decemeber without Rosemary.
With her gone my nostalgia, as I write this after midnight so it is now Good Friday, is a nostalgia that is sombre. My mother writes of the austere colours that Argentines wore in her time so this nostalgia is more a sobering one where I reflect on the death of a man/God and the inevitability of my own.The mate and bombilla in this scan is of a mate and bombilla that was my father’s circa 1940. It has always been with me and when I am visited by my older granddaughter Rebecca (not frequent these days) we share some yerba mate. While I am a purist and do not like to sweeten it I do accept her request for some sugar. After all she is the only person I know in Vancouver that likes to share a mate with me.