Not About Cantinflas in Around the World in Eighty Days but then...
Saturday, November 12, 2022
|My father George Waterhouse Hayward 1904|
Jean Passepartout (French: [ʒɑ̃ paspaʁtu])
is a fictional character in Jules Verne's novel Around the World in Eighty
Days, published in 1873. He is the French valet of the novel's English main
character, Phileas Fogg. His surname translates literally to "goes
everywhere", but “passepartout” is also an idiom meaning "skeleton
key" in French. It can also be understood as a play on the English word
passport—-or it’s French equivalent passeport—-and on the French word partout
1. m. Orla
de cartón, tela u otro material que se pone entre un dibujo, pintura,
fotografía, etc., y su marco. (orla is border ).
Only today I finally satisfied my curiousity on the
resemblance between Jean Passepartout from Around the World in Eighty Days and the
Spanish word for matt in a framed photograph or painting.
In the late 90s I was exhibiting lots of my photographs in
Vancouver galleries and my Rosemary told me I was spending lots of money. I
told her that I kept using the same frames but that matting was simply
My mother early on told me that any photograph placed in a
family album or framed was a photograph saved.
My Kits home is full of framed photographs of the family
everywhere. Of late I am trying to duplicate some of them so that both my
daughters can have them.
In the late 80s I discovered the Seagull pewter frames made
in Pugwash Nova Scotia, They even had a store for a while on Robson but I
purchased them also at Eaton’s and the Bay,
I stopped buying them a while ago even though an American company
bought Seagull out and they are now available on line.
My pewter frames are on my Chickering piano and on a nearby
antique book case.
It is my hope that some who may have gotten this far in this blog will
understand that most of those (if not all) those phone portraits will be gone
A photograph framed is a photograph saved. This is
especially true now. With my Epson Perfection V700 Photo scanner and Epson P700
printer I can print any of my negatives, slides or the digital photographs that
I take with my Fuji X-E3, iPhone3g and yes my Galaxy 5 phone,
|Alexandra and godfather Andrew Taylor|
|Rosemary & our big alarm clock|
|Family photograph in Athlone with Polilla & Mosca|
|Alexandra in Arboledas, Estado de México|
|The Haywards (my father sitting in the middle) aka 1911|
|Rosemary and Alex, Mocambo, Veracruz 1967|
|Alexandra Valle de Bravo, Mexico|
|My mother, Rosemary & Alexandra, Veracruz 1968|
|Rosemary - Burnaby 1975 0r 1976|
|Hilary and Rebecca, Bowen Island|
|Rosemary and Alex in University of Mexico Botanical Garden - 1968 - Photograph Andrew Taylor|
Four Seasons - 52 Years
Friday, November 11, 2022
|Aconitum carmichaeli 'Arendsii' & Hosta 'Whirlwind' 11 November 2022|
I am not going to translate the four parts in Spanish below. But be patient as I follow it with the rest of the blog in English. Suffice to point out
that Argentine poet Alfonsina Storni equated the four seasons of the year with
the relationship with a loved one in her lovely Poemas de Amor. In the last 4th
part above winter is described as one of confusion, darkness and sadness. This
is what I am experiencing now that fall is moving into winter.
Ensueño (o Primavera). (Según RAE: Acepción 1. Sueño o representación
fantástica de quien duerme. Acepción 2. Ilusión, fantasía). Esta parte comienza
ya casi terminando la primavera (el primer verso del primer poema inicia:
“acababa noviembre cuando te encontré…”), ad portas del verano. La primavera,
sabemos, es la época del renacer, del comienzo de un nuevo ciclo. Los árboles
estaban verdes, el cielo estaba azul… Después de un largo invierno, de una
larga espera, de una larga siesta, aparece el sujeto amado, y aparece,
literalmente, por todas partes. El final de este “Ensueño” indica un cuarto
lleno de suspiros y alientos: ¿Es él quien llega de visita?
Plenitud (o Verano). (Según RAE: Acepción 1. Totalidad, integridad o cualidad
de pleno. Acepción 2. Apogeo, momento álgido o culminante de algo). La dicha
fulgurante comienza con un ambiguo, y a la vez certero grito: “¡Amo!”.
Evidentemente dedica este y los demás versos a su amado; pero, ¿está amando?,
¿él es su amo? Los deseos de correr la consumen. Se reconoce en el éxtasis más
profundo. Es el verano. Los días se llenan de luz y energía. El cuerpo vibra en
cada poro, en cada napa… El recuerdo es atesorado, cada imagen, cada roce, cada
intención no realizada: “Tu amor me había cubierto el corazón de musgo”… Se
despide del verano respirando la humedad nocturna y olorosa.
Agonía (u Otoño). (Según RAE: Acepción 1. Angustia y congoja del moribundo;
estado que precede a la muerte. Acepción 2. Pena o aflicción extremada.
Acepción 3. Angustia o congoja
provocadas por conflictos espirituales. Acepción 4. Ansia o deseo
vehemente. Acepción 5. Lucha, contienda). Comienza en tono de reproche, o de
resignación: “Por veces te propuse viajes absurdos, Vámonos, te dije, adonde
estemos solos…”. El calor se aleja. La luz se aleja. El viento sopla y el frío
amenaza con llegar. No hay otra acepción, no hay duda posible. El verano ya se
ha ido y comienza el viaje de retorno hacia la hibernación, hacia un
ocultamiento del que ya se ha salido antes, y, aparentemente, también entrado.
Hay distancia, imposibilidad, ausencia: “al caudal temblante y profundo de mi
Noche (o Invierno). (Según RAE: Acepción 1. Parte del día comprendida entre la
puesta del sol y el amanecer. Acepción 3. Confusión, oscuridad o
Alfonsina Storni (22 May 1892 – 25 October 1938) was a proto
feminist. When I read her poetry some years ago, it reminded me of Rosemary who
told me to fry my own eggs, hem my own jeans and sew on the buttons. She was
not going to do this for me.
Alfonsina Storni - I am going to sleep
In our first year of our marriage, when funds were low, I was
too stupid to understand that I was fed a good meal (she did used to cook in our youthful marriage) at the
expense of her having little left for herself.
Storni’s book Poemas de Amor I purchased in Buenos Aires in
December 2021. I found myself sitting in a wing chair in the lobby of the Hotel
Claridge in front of the elevator. It seemed to me that any moment the door
would swing open and Rosemary would step out as we would then go on an
adventure on Calle Florida. It was not possible, of course, but at the same
time as I was reading Storni’s slim volume I felt myself falling in love with
Rosemary all over again.
Falling in love with Rosemary all over again
Today, 11 November my personal remembrance is not for
soldiers at war as none in my family ever went to war. My remembrance is for
all the fallen members of my family and friends who are all gone; and of course,
a remembrance of Rosemary and our 52 years together.
But because of Storni I now see that relationship as being
the four seasons of the year. We lived a spring and summer and her decline in 2020 and until
her death on the 9th of December was our fall.
Her death and the winter now in my garden is Storni’s winter
I find myself listless and I rarely read or watch the news.
I skip now most of my NYTimes. I walk Niño and feed him and Niña. Nothing else
of importance during any of these days inspires me for action.
Today when I saw the last blue flower of Rosemary’s
favourite aconitum and the lovely colour of my fall hosta leaves I thought of
writing this blog and of my reflection of Rosemary and I living four seasons in
our life together.
She did not survive winter to be alive in spring. Indigenous
peoples have the belief that if you survive winter you will live in spring, and,
like a perennial perhaps another full year.
As I write this with winter coming I wonder where I will be
in the spring.
It could be oblivion with Rosemary.
Confessing my suspicion about street photographs
Thursday, November 10, 2022
|Basilica della Santissima Annunziata - Florence 2019|
Today is 10 November 2022. I had a visiting fireman from
Portland for a week and I left him at the airport yesterday. Now that I am
alone I may begin to fill holes into missing slots this last month. Because
tomorrow is Remembrance Day I may sit in front of my computer and write a few.
I feel obliged to do two things every day and I feel guilty
when I don’t do them. One is writing these blogs and the other is walking Niño
around the block. We walked today.
An ode to a cat - Pablo Neruda
Because I take the same route that Rosemary took with Niño I
find that the pleasure of walking my cat is dampened by the missing presence of
Rosemary. I don’t believe in ghosts but it is difficult not to surmise that she
is nearby as we walk.
Walking on my neighbourhood street today gave me the idea of
writing this lightweight blog about the concept of street photography.
In this 21st century photograph now seems to
consist of pristine nature photographs, macro flower shots, and many sunsets
and sunrises. There are also street photographs that are always taken on
I don’t grasp why street photographs cannot include grab
shots taken during trips, inside churches and museums.
My photograph of a confessional in a Florence church here is
something that I would call a street photograph.
I have written often that I believe that our ability to
associate seemingly disparate stuff is what makes us human.
In this blog I link my confessional photograph with one of
the best films I have ever seen based on a novel by John Gregory Dunne called
Because I am currently reading Dunne’s wife Joan Didion’s
The Year of Magical Thinking my association goes at more lengths.
Life changes in the instant. The ordinary instant - Joan Didion
As for the proliferation of sunsets and sunrises (are cats
now old hats out of the box?) my suspicion is that photographers shoot
alone and are not pushed or inspired by magazine art directors as I was.
That is a pity.
My Phone Was In a Drawer
Wednesday, November 09, 2022
In my 80 years I have straddled two centuries and
experienced, Juan Domingo Perón & Evita, ice being delivered at home, having no telephone (but finally
getting a black dial phone in 1953), the demise of Packards, Studebakers, Pontiacs and Oldsmobiles,
beepers, Kodachrome, journalism and the fading into oblivion of those once important fax
I am happy to report that I have managed to adopt (not too
willingly at first) the digital technology of this century. This has helped me
feel relevant to myself as a photographer. I have adapted Garry Winogrand’s mantra:
“I photograph to find
out what something will look like photographed.”
But this excitement could never happen without willing &
enthusiastic subjects ( I have disdain for the word model).
One of these enthusiasts with whom I collaborate (important
word) is Olena, she of the former blue hair.
Olena - She of the Blue Hair
The pictures I have placed here, which I am sure will follow
the community standards of social media were done as follows:
I photographed Olena with my Fuji-X-E3 camera in my small Kits studio. Then a few
weeks later I projected on her body (using an Epson digital projector) the
former photographs. With my 19 year old Photoshop, I “corrected” to my taste the
colour, the contrast and the opacity of the blended pictures.
Looking at these, I know that at one time they would have
been up at that wonderful photography gallery on Beatty Street, the Exposure
Gallery. Now there is no viable venue for these photographs.
Of late I have not found too many photographers I know
who shoot this kind of stuff. If only an 80 year-old-man (me) could inspire them
to put their phones away!