El Que Espera Desespera
Saturday, October 15, 2022
|Hosta 'First Blush' 15 October 2022|
I wrote (link below) yesterday which was almost chipper. And
this one (link below) on 18 February of this year is not so chipper.
Today, I think this idea that I am
waiting, just waiting is getting darker.
The day begins with feeding the cats and reading my papers
in bed with my breakfast tray. Then I go to the garden to see what plants I can
scan. Because we are in mid-October, the pickings are slim. What this means is
that what is left involves that neutrally lousy word “housekeeping” and
deciding what I will eat for a mid-afternoon lunch/dinner.
With the days growing dark sooner it seems I end up in bed
earlier. This disturbs me as my grandmother in 1969 returned from a visit to
her son Tony from Egypt and when I looked into her face there was nobody home.
She would get ready for bed earlier and earlier. She died a year later.
The only important activity is to walk Niño around the
block. This action makes me feel useful. But it is melancholic because I take the same route Rosemary did before she died. I don't believe in ghosts but I imagine her presence. Today with Niño in tow, I saw a young couple of gay women walking hand in hand and I wanted to tell them, "Sex is not all that important. Just keep holding hands." That is what I miss the most of my Rosemary.
The only other activity left is to do what I am doing right
And I wait.
As my grandmother used to say to me. “El que espera
desespera’. What that means I amply explain in the links to the above blogs.
Friday, October 14, 2022
|Rosa 'Darcey Bussell' 14 October 2022|
To wait in Spanish is esperar. This is the route to the
lovely word esperanza (hope) that is sometimes a woman’s name.
When I look at my roses with unopened buds in a cool day
like today, 14 October 2022 I know that they are unable to understand the futility of keeping on with their botanical obligation to bloom.
Because I studied physics in the early 60s, I know all about
potential energy. From the point of view of this human, I know this bud will not
open. I see beauty in its futility to continue.
To this day my Rosemary’s question before she died, “Am I
dying? ” leaves me with an acute sorrow of the fact that nobody can accompany a
person in that state. We die alone in spite of those Hollywood dying scenes. Even today I believe those present (my two daughters and my granddaughter
Rebecca) did not answer her question.
This unopened rose bud lives in the bliss of not being
able to understand its ultimate end and does not even understand that as a
perennial there is the esperanza that Rosa ‘Darcey Bussell’ will return next
Niño & Niña - My Niñero & my Niñera
Thursday, October 13, 2022
|Niño & Niña|
A niñera is Spanish for a babysitter. A male babysitter
would be niñero. And of course my male cat is Niño and his female sister Niña.
These last couple of months I have been observing them under
a new light.
In my recent past I was surrounded by people with stability.
One was my Rosemary. This so-called artist could find refuge in her cool logic demeanour.
I had two writer friends, now dead, Sean Rossiter and MarkBudgen who always gave me measured responses free of any kind of hysterics to
anything I might have asked them. I
would, of course have never dared play poker with them as their face
expressions expressed very little.
Mentors with stability
There was another stable person in my life who somehow also
reflected a human warmth beyond just cold stability. This was my mentor at St.
Edward’s High School in Austin, Texas, Brother Edwin Reggio, C.S.C.
Brother Edwin Reggio, C.S.C.
Before he died a few years ago I mentioned the name of my
troubled granddaughter. I believe this was the first time where he did not mask
his emotion, “Don’t tell her to do anything!”
These last few months my melancholy about my now dead
Rosemary has become more intense. Distractions such as meeting with people for
coffee work for a while for the distractions that they are. The moment I am
alone again I am hit by an existential angst and I ask myself, “Why her? Why
On Thursdays my youngest daughter Hilary visits me for
dinner and cook her a good one. I then take her home to Burnaby. These last
weeks the darkness as I drive back around 8 is brightened by the fact that my
two cats will be waiting for me. They will get their treats around 8:30 and
then when I go to bed after my bath they will come as close to me as they can
and even more so when I turn off the lights.
And in the morning they let me sleep.
I find that the single most important task for me every day
is to take Niño for his walk around the block. As soon as I say, “Walk, Walk! (like Rosemary
used to say and she would call our Cruze the Car, Car) he is ready. He is a cat
who understands what routine is.
But ultimately it is his face (handsome it is) that reminds
me of Sean Rossiter and Mark Budgen.
Niño’s face of stability and his siter’s constant affection
for me have made me realize that they indeed are taking care of me.
Niño is a niñero and Niña is my niñera. Is that possible?
An ode to a cat - Pablo Neruda
Wednesday, October 12, 2022
|English Rose - Rosa 'Abraham Darby' 13 October 2022|
Today is a fine fall October 13 and some of my roses are
not only still blooming but the scent of Rosa ‘Abraham Darby’ is somehow
stronger because of its colour that reminds me of Orange Crush.
With the waning of summer my roses will soon bid me
goodbye and I will have to retire my scanner until spring.
Today my Hilary came for dinner and when I was taking her
home to Burnaby in the darkness, I was glad that I was going to return to the feline
humanity of my Niño and Niña.
|Niño (top) & Niña 21 October 2022|
It is difficult to explain that while in the presence of
my two daughters the feeling that my Rosemary is with us is not as strong as when I
walk Niño on the route that she took around our Kits block. I can imagine her telling me, "Be patient and don't shout at him. Let him linger in that garden if he wants."
Getting into bed in the evening and reading what I skipped in my
newspapers in the morning, or the chapter of a book, is all that much more
pleasant with those two cats being on the bed.
When I turn off the lights they compete as who will be
closer to me. I can feel their warmth. It is a comforting warmth that
approximates the warmth of my former bedmate.
The Acute Peril & Loss of the Portrait Photographer
Tuesday, October 11, 2022
There is peril and agony for the portrait photographer. I
am living that right now.
This afternoon, while walking with Niño, I found a pristine
photo album without any pictures in it. Why would anybody throw it away?
Walking back with Niño with the album in my hand I thought that I would write
what I am writing this instant. Perhaps one of my two granddaughters might find a use for the album.
My house, a house I shared with Rosemary for almost five
years, has memories of her all over. From our bed to our dinner wear that she
chose, the faces of our two cats, to her perennials bidding me a fall goodbye in our
garden, they are a constant reminder of what I have lost.
|With Rosemary, Alexandra, Hilary, Polilla (white cat) and Mosca|
But worse (except for the living faces of Niño and Niña
staring at me and do they know or remember?) are the many (as in many) framed
portraits that I have taken through the years of the family. This evening I was
too lazy to go upstairs to where the king goes alone (as my grandmother used to
tell me) and I entered the guest bathroom. Facing me are three portraits of
Rosemary. I was overcome by a sense of longing for her and of a loss of not
having her here.
Even the piano room is no refuge from this. On the piano
I have an extensive collection of pewter frames with family photographs.
Is there no escape for me?