|Top Rosa 'Abraham Darby', middle R. 'William Shakespeare 2000' below R. 'The Shropshire Lad' and R. 'Robin Hood'14 November 2022|
In 1963/64 I was studying engineering at the University of the Americas in Mexico City. In that past century any man who wanted to achieve success and lure a woman into marriage had to either be and architect, a lawyer or an engineer. There were no other professions.
But when I began electricity I could not understand the difference between resistance, inductance and capacitance. I failed electricity, and my conundrum on what I was going to do with my life, was temporarily solved by having been drafted into the Argentine Navy.
Sometime in late 1967 on a trip to San Francisco I was in a cable car that at a stop many of the youths got off. I asked them where they were going and they told me that they were studying photography at the San Francisco Art Institute. I had no idea that photography could be a profession.
It was only later, by 1974 that I became a portrait photographer in Mexico City and upon moving with Rosemary and our two daughters to Vancouver I ultimately became a magazine photographer.
It was only then that I realized that capacitance and capacitors in my flash units stored energy and made the flash bursts possible.
In my life (I am now 80) I have been an English teacher, a high school teacher, a university Spanish professor, a car washer (In Canada it’s Tilden) a magazine photographer and lastly a writer.
Now there are all kinds of professions I had no idea would exist in that other century such as writing code.
All the above has something to do with another term I learned at my engineering in physics. It is called potential energy. You can compute the possibility of a book lying in the middle of a table to fall off the edge with no human help. The event can be unlikely but not impossible.
To me the concept of potential energy remedies the idea that a past definition for why Edison was a genius is that he knew the one thing he had to do with his life.
We have the potential of doing many things and with a longer life span we can have many professions.
But what of the potential of a rose bud in mid-November? I know that the buds in today’s scan have no chance of ever opening. Are they finished? Yes they are finished for this season. They are perennials and they will come back in late May.
For me this cements in a most positive way that we humans should never give up.
We have the potential, and to sort of borrow that electrical term, the capacity to excel on something new within ourselves.
My 25-year-old granddaughter is unsure in what to do with her life. I told her that there were three professions that do not need diplomas. Two of them are writing and photography. The third one, which I told her was not for her, is prostitution.