|Rosemary's muscari & narcissus - 5 April 2022|
Two human diseases that I believe are the worst even though they do not bring much physical pain are Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. The first affected two of the best photographers of the 20th century, Margaret Bourke-White and Edward Weston. The anti-shake technology of digital cameras of this century would have prolonged their careers.
Alzheimer’s, little by little (or suddenly in some cases) obliterates memory.
Of memory I cannot see how I could survive as a human without it. Borges often said that in order to remember one had to first forget. His most famous story on memory, Funes el memorioso is of a man who was plagued by exceptional memory even for spots on walls. He had instant recall.
For me memory allows me to associate what in some cases can be things or events that may not have an instant or obvious connection. My blog (5530 today not counting this one) is based on a film with a protagonist (Katherine Hepburn) called Bunny Watson (The Desk Set – 1957) who has that talent of association while working at a public library. I find it most interesting that the film’s title in Spanish is Cosa de Mujeres (Woman Stuff).
This association that I have (and everybody else) is an
association that dies with us almost always. Some may remember after we are gone.
Consider today’s scan. Will my daughters remember that the Mexican-made barrilito (the brand name) knife was my mother’s fave? I see the knife (I use it to butter bread) and I instantly associate it with my mother as well as her other favourite kitchen utensil (after that knife) a spatula. She was frugal and used it to get every bit of gravy or whatever from a pan.
Rosemary had pleasant obsessions (many more besides these two) for scissors and napkins. She did get to meet my grandmother in Veracruz who had Alzheimer’s and somehow inherited a desire to own and use many kinds of scissors. Rosemary used the scissors in the garden and even manicured the flower beds in our large Kerrisdale garden by cutting the grass with them. She used scissors to cut pizza and chicken. We had many pairs and all would suddenly lose their sharpness.
I still have some Christmas paper napkins that Rosemary bought. I will not use them until I have a Christmas dinner with two daughters, two granddaughters and my son-in-law. I have been using paper towels as napkins but I finally broke down and went to Rosemary’s favourite dollar store to buy the one you see here. I thought it had attractive colours but I did not note until I brought them home that they were Batman napkins.
Every plant in my Kits garden reminds me of Rosemary and I associate it of the time we may have purchased it or me watching her plant it. Today I scanned one of her lovely muscaris with a couple of her blue narcissus. They are in our laneway garden. As I was cutting them for the scan I could remember her snipping the edge of the grass with her scissors and being accompanied by Niño.