To date I have 5724 blogs. When I began in January 2006 I had no idea what a blog was or what I was going to do with it. I asked myself many times, “Why do I blog?” and I wrote quite a few with that theme.
In 2006 blogs were popular and one of the prerequisites was to have a little button on the right side that was called a RSS Feed. If you clicked on it you became subscribed to the blog. Web pages to magazines and newspapers had that feed, too. The concept of RSS has almost disappeared. Few that may follow my blogon Twitter or FB may be aware that all they have to do is to go to my web page or simply copy the link in it to my blog.
I am saddened to say that most who think they are digitally savvy have no idea that when I link to my blog and place a picture in FB or in Twitter that it is only a link and not my blog. If I do not insert a link in social media many believe that I have not blogged.
My blogs, because they are in social media, makes them appear more personal. Because my blog is really a "Dear Diary," I cannot change that. Its purpose, as I now know, is explained if I paraphrase Joan Didion, something she told the NY Times when they interviewed her some years back:
“I write entirely to find out what I'm thinking, what I'm looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.”
Since Rosemary died, writing about her loss in my blogs, has helped me sift through my thoughts about its meaning and how it has affected my life of living alone.
Some of my blogs are educational. I reveal what one must know to be a successful photographer. A few are too technical and they may be wasted on the iPhone-photographer-generation.
If my blogs are personal or inconsequential, like what follows, it is because I want to leave a record to my family about my life and how it may have formed them particularly a life I shared with Rosemary.
One last blog purpose is to record the events of our city that I think are important for a city that has no memory for its past.
Now to three pictures in this blog and the meaning.
After Christmas, when the Lillooet road through Whistler was in better condition, my daughter Alexandra Elizabeth (55) presented me with the red envelope with my name in her lovely writing. She asked me, “Can you guess what is in it? The name on the envelope should be a hint.” I was unable to guess.
From the moment that I can remember as a little child, hanging over my crib and early beds, was a largish medal. I never gave much thought to it until it disappeared from my memory. I must have told Ale some years back and when she found it in her possessions she brought it.
Looking at the medal I thought, “What was, then wasn’t & now is again.”
I was born August 31 1942 in the Buenos Aires Sanatorio Anchorena. My mother told me a story that I have never believed that my father forgot to register me as he was drunk. He did so on April 18, 1943. He informed the folks at the registry office that my name was George Alexander. He was told that this was impossible. In Argentina nobody could have a foreign name unless it could not be translated. For a while there were Argentine Seans until a smart bureaucrat realized that it was equivalent to Juan. And so I became Jorge Alejandro.
In my family, originally from Manchester, the first born male was given the middle name Waterhouse. When my grandfather Harry Waterhouse Hayward and grandmother Ellen Carter immigrated to Argentina in 1901 they brought with them a son called Harry. The story told to me by my father is that they were not married and a certificate of their marriage in Buenos Aires was found. Thus my father’s logic was that their son Harry was a bastard and only he, George (my father), could use the name Waterhouse as he was the legitimate firstborn.
At the registry my father tried to insert Waterhouse after my Jorge Alejandro. The bureaucrat balked. My father slipped a coima (Argentine lingo for a bribe) under the table and said, “It is part of his surname and there is a hyphen between Waterhouse and Hayward." And so it was.
But then why does my bedside medal have the name George Alexander and what is the significance of the date 27 –IX-42?
|George Alexander & Aunt Inez|
My father’s eldest sister Inez Barber adored my mother and wanted to be my godmother. In 1942 Argentina, a country that did not acknowledge the legality of a divorce, she could not be my godmother. She had remarried a man from Mendoza called Alejandro Ariosa. He was allowed to be my grandfather as he was not divorced. That explains my middle name.
|Inez ( Inesita) Barber O'Reilly Kuker|
Aunt Inez designated her 17 year old daughter Inesita (my first cousin) as my godmother.
The date of the medal is then the date of my receiving the first Roman Catholic sacrament of Baptism.
Inesita not only was my godmother and first cousin, but also my favourite Argentine relative. When Rosemary, granddaughter Rebecca and I visited Argentina when Rebecca was 8 (she is now 25) I told her that the queen of England spoke English like Inesita because Inesita was older than the queen.
The photograph of Inesita here is linked to the medal in a special way.
In 1952 when Perón was burning churches my grandmother Dolores Reyes de Irureta Goyena dispatched my mother Filomena to Mexico City where her sister Dolores Humphrey lived. She instructed her to find out if it was a good place to move. While in Mexico City my Aunt Dolly gave my mother the lovely red rebozo which became a fave of my mother’s. I took quite a few photographs in years back of people wearing that rebozo. Here I used it as backing to the medal scans.
Why is the medal dedicated to Saint Teresa of Baby Jesus? Between my birthday of August 31 and the baptism of 27 September her feast day is on October 15. She is also called St. Teresa of Ávila. She founded the Carmelite Order whose purpose was to bring Catholicism back to it roots. Many report that St. Teresa would levitate off the ground randomly and that she could not control it.
While I do not think I will ever levitate I will hang the medal on my bed's headboard.
What was, then wasn't & now is.