|My daughter Hilary Anne Stewart - and expert crier|
As far as I can remember I was never a crybaby. Now 80 I am usually in some sort of physical pain but I have learned to take it without showing it.
When my father died in 1966 and my mother in 1972 who died in bed in the presence of my Rosemary and me I don’t think I cried.
A few months before Rosemary died when we both knew she would eventually do so, I remember turning my back to her in bed and feeling tears in my face. I may have even sobbed. I wonder now how this may have affected her.
Last night my friend Adrian du Plessis put a video of Peter Paul and Mary singing Puff the Magic Dragon on Facebook. As I watched it tears came out in a long stream. I wondered why.
It hit me suddenly that when I went to Argentina to do my military service in the Argentine Navy I had no idea of the folk singing revolution that was taking the US in a storm.
My friend John Sullivan, who was doing his military service in the Argentine Army took me to see a friend of his, Corina Poore , who was in bed because of some foot operation. She read my hand and somehow I fell for her hard. Corina was of English extraction but was born in Uruguay. She was, I can assert, my first formal girlfriend. She was an early proto-feminist who knew what she wanted. It was Corina who in introduced me to Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and Peter Paul and Mary. Corina played a handsome guitar and could sing nicely. I fell for folk music, just like that.
By the time I returned to Mexico in 1967 I met Rosemary and married her in February of 1968. I received a communication from Corina who told me she was getting a job in Mexico for the 1968 Olympic Games. I told her of my marriage so she never did come.
Watching Peter Paul and Mary last night I was struck by Mary Travers’s long blonde hair and somehow I immediately connected her with Rosemary and Corina.
My memory of those two ( I do communicate these days with Corina who is happily attached to a man in London) is what brought all those memories of my past.
I wonder why there is no more folk music of the kind of Peter Paul and Mary. I remember going to San Francisco with Rosemary and our two young daughters in 1973 in our VW bug and listening to folk music and Karen Carpenter on the radio. Will that music ever return or am I stuck with rap for what is left of my life?
Below are instructions on the proper way of crying (in English and in Spanish) by Julio Cortázar. He is precise but I can only add that these days I have found that this former macho can cry and do it copiously. All I need is to watch Peter Paul and Mary sing Blowing in the Wind or Leaving on a Jet Plane.
Julio Cortázar – Instructions on Crying
Putting the reasons for crying aside for the moment, we might concentrate on the correct way to cry, which, be it understood, means a weeping that doesn’t turn into a big commotion nor proves an affront to the smile with its parallel and dull similarity.
The average, everyday weeping consists of a general contraction of the face and a spasmodic sound accompanied by tears and mucus, this last toward the end, since the cry ends at the point when one energetically blows one’s nose.
In order to cry, steer the imagination toward yourself, and if this proves impossible owing to having contacted the habit of believing in the external world, think of a duck covered with ants or of those gulfs in the Straits of Magellan into which no one sails ever.
Coming to the weeping itself, cover the face decorously, using both hands, palms inward. Children are to cry with the sleeve of the dress or shirt pressed against the face, preferably in a corner of the room.
Average duration of the cry, three minutes.
Instruciones para llorar – Julio Cortázar
Dejando de lado los motivos, atengámonos a la manera correcta de llorar, entendiendo por esto un llanto que no ingrese en el escándalo ni que insulte a la sonrisa con una paralela y torpe semejanza. El llanto medio u ordinario consiste en una contracción general del rostro y un sonido espasmódico acompañado de lágrimas y mocos, estos últimos al final, pues el llanto se acaba en el momento en que uno se suena enérgicamente.
Para llorar, dirija la imaginación hacia usted mismo, y si esto le resulta imposible por haber contraído el hábito de creer en el mundo exterior, piense en un pato cubierto de hormigas o en esos golfos del estrecho de Magallanes en los que no entra nadie, nunca.
Llegado el llanto, se tapará con decoro el rostro usando ambas manos con la palma de la mano hacia adentro. Los niños llorarán con la manga del saco contra la cara, y de preferencia en un rincón del cuarto.
Duración media del llanto, tres minutos.