|Rosa 'Abraham Darby', Clematis 'Violet Stardust' & Clematis integrifolia 'MongolianBells' - 12 August 2022|
|Rosa 'Betsy Sinclair' & Clematis tanguitica 'Little Lemons'- 12 August 2022|
Sometime in the summer of 1966 in Buenos Aires, my Argentine nephew, Georgito O’Reilly and I were having a discussion. He was doing his conscription in the army and I in the navy. It was a weekend in a house with a pool in the outer neigbourhood of Pacheco, that his family rented to get away from the stifling and humid heat of Buenos Aires.
We were talking about what we were going to do when our conscription was over. We had no idea. Our future was definitely and undecided unknown. We told each other that it was almost comforting, while in the armed forces, that we could not make important decisions and that our life was at the mercy of a Marine Corps corporal (his name was Cabo Moraña and that applied to me) or in his case a sergeant.
I can safely point out here that those two years for me were unique in that my only obligation was to obey orders.
As my magazine photography and writing jobs disappeared a few years ago with the demise of magazines and newspapers, I found myself gardening all day with Rosemary in our Kerrisdale garden. On Saturdays we had the obligation to baby sit our two granddaughters, Rebecca and Lauren. This was a mutual pleasure. We also travelled all over the world with the two.
Now as a grandparent empty nester, and with my Rosemary gone on December 9 2020, I have no obligations except the daily one of feeding Niña and Niño, taking Niño for his daily walk, shopping for food and cleaning the house.
When my daughter Hilary visits (about once a week) I make sure to shave and look presentable and of course the house is spotless.
But not considering any of the above, I live day to day on a lifeboat without a compass. I used to tell Rosemary a couple of years before she died that I was WTD. She knew that was waiting to die.
As most of my friends and family are dead it becomes patently obvious, that I was wrong when I was a little boy when I determined that the only people who died or won the lottery were always neighbours.
No matter that when my daughters tell me that I must make the best of what is left for me or that when I feel grief over my loss of Rosemary that I have at least my memories, It does not help in the least.
What does help is my knowing, that while my cats are not human beings, they are very much alive, appreciative, caring, and affectionate. It is almost as if perhaps I am not alone. And I must confess that I do talk to them lots in Spanish.
And what does help is my perhaps aimless daily scanning of my plants. In some cases I tell stories about them in my blogs in relation to Rosemary or to a poem by Emily Dickinson or Borges on roses. But the two scan you see here have only one real important connection with Rosemary.
She and I decided that in our little garden our potted roses would share space with clematis. Roses and clematis get along fine as long as you do not use one of the very large and very aggressive clematis. The small dainty ones are just fine.
Sadly these small and dainty clematis remind of my small and dainty Rosemary.