|Béatrice Larrivée - 20 August 2022 - 19:33|
|Béatrice Larrivée - 20 August 2022 -19:40|
Lord, I was born a ramblin' man
Tryin' to make a livin' and doin' the best I can
And when it's time for leavin'
I hope you'll understand…
Allman Brothers Band
This blog is going to ramble lots.
In 1972 I was teaching at a high school in Mexico where my students were mostly Americans from the US Embassy and children from fathers who worked for American companies.
One day someone in my class asked me, “What do you think of Alice Cooper?” My answer was met by guffaws. “Who is she?” The class then decided on a pact. I would take them to listen to my music (this I did to a baroque concert at an old Mexican Churrigueresque church.
They then invited me to a party where they played Crosby, Stills,Nash & Young and a band called The Allman Brothers from a just released record At Fillmore East.
Thanks to them I received the beginnings of an excellent rock education.
Of late I have been thinking lots at night about words in the two languages I speak, Spanish & English.
I have written here before how there are words that exist in English but not in Spanish. It is virtually impossible to say in few words in Spanish, “I was being tailgated & I was rearended”.
More than ever before, I have become aware on how our language and its structure, grammar, affect (and limit?) how we think and look at the world.
As an example one of my favourite compositions by Ástor Piazzolla is Oblivion. Piazzolla lived for many years in New York. He knew of the intricacies of language and even spoke good French. When he called his work Oblivion he chose a word in English that has no close translation to Spanish. Olvido (to forget is not right). Amazingly in English there is a close synonym, nothingness. Nada is not nothingness.
I wonder how then we of Latin upbringing consider life after death. My Rosemary and I both believed in oblivion after our deaths and we knew we would never see each other again.
More complicated is our concept of time. We are all aware
of the expression, “It is water under the bridge,” which may have been
influenced by Pre-Socratic philosopher Heraclitus that you could never place
your hand on the same water of a rushing river. What if you jump your finger from here to there? Can that instant be twice?
With the advent of the focal plane shutter for cameras, speeds rose to 1/1000 second and beyond. What is then an instant in one of those wonderful photographs by Harold Edgerton taken at super high speeds?
A client of mine some years ago jokingly asked me what my bill for services rendered was. I quoted my day rate of $3500 (what it was back in 1987). He then computed how many pictures I had taken and the speed of the shutter speeds I had used and offered to pay me a third.
When we think of time we think of before, now and a future after. I think that language limits our understanding of time and especially when we consider now.
The two photographs of Béatrice Larrivée that I took back in August 2022 were shot with a shutter speed of ¼ second. I have even taken pictures with much longer exposures. How then can both these photographs represent an instant in time?
You can look at these two photographs and think how nice they may be and how they are. But how does that include a period of time that was not an instant?
Yes I am a ramblin’ man.