Todo en su lugar es el órden.
Saturday, January 21, 2023
My last blog was on January 5, 2023 and December 2022 was sporadic. I have been
rather listless and unwilling to write anything even though it has nothing to
do with lack of ideas. It is a combination of the weather, the winter darkness
and a grief at the loss of my Rosemary on December 9 2020 that is not better today
January 21, 2023.
The Christmas season was especially sad. I spent Christmas
Eve and New Year’s Eve alone. My January 5 blog touched on it.
Alone together 7 together alone
Then there are my cats Niño & Niña. They may be going
through the same problem of the weather and the darkness and may even sense my
melancholy. When I am on the bed they immediately get on me and stay. When I
think that perhaps I might go to my oficina and write a blog, I look at their
faces and stay scanning the bad news in my New York Times or sporadically read
a few chapters of the books on my night table.
In the last few days I have come with a new name for my
Rosemary. She was the Rock of Gibraltar of the family. She kept us together.
With her loss my family of two daughters, two
granddaughters and son-in-law are distant with the exception of Hilary
with whom I talk every day and see at least twice a week. I don't see Alexandra often because she lives in Lillooet and the road was so bad over Christmas she was not able to be with us.
Not helping my situation is that I seem to be losing friends
through death and a fading friendship. I am trying to make new friends.
As evidence on the importance of my Rosemary, is my almost failed
copy of her little books where she wrote her notes. She would cross out stuff
accomplished. My contribution to my green notebook is sporadic. I put the
groceries I need to buy in it but the most important action for me is to list
my blog ideas.
I had to begin eventually. Where should I start?
My friend Nora Patrich’s mother Leah (she is in her 90s),
when she helped her son Sergio at the Patrich Gallery on Granville, would
offer me very good coffee. I had to be careful where I put my empty cup once I
finished or she would tell me, “Todo en su lugar es el órden.” This translates
to, “Everything in its place is order.” Rosemary was not that extreme but she
kept diaries and those notebooks by her bedside. She knew what she had to do at
Now I have to manage on my own.
I am trying.
George Alexander - What Was, Then Wasn't & Now Is
Friday, January 20, 2023
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
“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
The photograph of Inesita here is linked to the medal in a
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.