|Rosa 'Sombreuil' 9 September 2022|
Before Argentine writer Jorge Luís Borges became completely blind he could discern some colours like green and yellow. Red became a problem and when he was completely blind, paradoxically, one of the colours he missed was black.
Yellow was one of his favourite colours and wrote lots about it including how he would sit in front of the tiger cage in the Buenos Aires Zoo to admire the yellow stripes of the tigers. He did not like lions in spite of the fact that they, too were yellow.
Like this writer, he disliked lions as they reminded him of dogs.
I did not know all the above on April 13, 1966 which was a Saturday. On April 8 Time Magazine had published its famous Is God dead? cover. I was reading it on the bench in front of the tiger cage of the Buenos Aires Zoo.
Because the Argentine Navy admirals had yet to dictate that summer was over, I was wearing my navy white uniform. De rigueur, I had removed a handkerchief from my pants pocket and dusted the bench. When I took the train or buses I never sat down. My uniform had to be spotless or I might find myself cleaning the kitchen bell at the Secretaría de Marina which fed thousands.
I do remember reading the Time article. It was a sunny day and I was not going to have it affect my wellbeing. At the time I was more or less a devout Roman Catholic.
Now 9 September 2022, I look at that memory of sitting opposite the tiger cage with a little regret. Had I persisted I might have run into the man who could still see yellow.
And since my eyesight is very good I do note some yellow in this 1850 French rose that is very happy in my garden and has been flowering since the beginning of June.