Fall to Be
Saturday, September 16, 2023
|Hosta 'Island Breeze' 18 September 2023|
The changing of the seasons to this widower is a sad affair.
I cannot share with Rosemary our plans for the next or make a list of garden activities
that have to be done in the next few days.
My roses are waning but a few still open to my short
delight. Years ago hostas were supposed to bloom in June but one, Hosta ‘Tardiflora’
did so in September. In today’s blog (back a few days but showing a scan done
18 September 2023) I show Hosta ‘Island Breeze’ in bloom but with fall leaves.
Is it confused? Or are more hostas being hybridized to bring colour later in
I would have discussed this fact with Rosemary and she would
have been interested.
With the increasing change of temperature I find myself
wearing flannel shirts over my Ts. It was last year that I found out that when
Julio Cortázar’s protagonist in his novel Rayuela (Hopscotch) feels cold in a coming Paris winter, he buys a
canadiense (in Spanish we never capitalize a country’s name when used as an
adjective. Soy un argentino). Cortázar’s canadiense is our lumberjack shirt.
As it begins to darken earlier I find myself getting into
bed (on the bed with clothes) with Niño and Niña and I am hit by that empty side
of my bed and the absent presence of Rosemary that is there.
It will not go away.
My Mentors on Writing
Friday, September 15, 2023
Today I have reached a milestone of sorts as I have passed
the 5900 blogs mark. I was lying in bed unable to sleep as I think of Bunny
Watson connections among the 27 writer photographs of mine that will be
displayed at the International Book Fair (FIL) in Mexico City beginning on
I thought about the fact that while I may not be a good
writer I am a writer. Some of my blogs are not bad. How did I get there?
I may have inherited some talent from George Waterhouse
Hayward, my journalist father (the Buenos Aires Herald). I could have been inspired by my mother Filomena Cristeta de Irureta Goyena who was a fine poet.
But I am sure that there might have been some influence from
my four years at St. Edward’s High School in Austin, Texas in the late 50s. The
Brothers of the Congregation of Holy Cross were exceptional teachers. One of
them Brother Dunstan Bowles, C.S.C. told me, “I am unable to read your terrible
handwriting. Get an italic pen and learn to use it.”
My Brother Fathers Remembered
When Rosemary, our two daughters and I moved to Vancouver
from Mexico City in 1975, about three years after, I was working as a
photographer (freelance) for Vancouver Magazine. I was immediately paired with
rock column writer (In One Ear) Les Wiseman. He was and is a snob. He told me, “If
you are going to listen to heavy metal rock it better be Motorhead. And don’t
forget that Lou Reed is God.”
His editor Malcolm Parry informed me I was to write a cover
story for the magazine as soon as the Falklands/Malvinas was over by the end of
May 1982. I did, but by then I had some sound advice from both Les Wiseman and
writer John Lekich.
Wiseman told me: “Unless you are Charles Dickens you never
begin in the beginning. You start in the middle and work both ways." He further
advised me to write about that which I knew and if I didn’t that I should
consult and expert.
Les Wiseman- Mentor & Friend
John Lekich told me: “Whatever you put in your first
paragraph it should be in your last.”
The Infallibility of John Lekich
There was one more mentor who helped who was an unexpected
one. I was in Seattle to photograph James Ellroy. While taking his picture he
told me, “Sometimes I open a manuscript in my computer and just change or add a
comma. I then shut my computer. I have written for the day.”
(2) Men for All Ages
Thursday, September 14, 2023
|Art Bergmann & Joe Keithley|
Men for All Ages
They were men for all ages
Captain Kirk, Spock, Scotty and Bones
They were men for all ages
Somehow evil was overthrown
They always strove for honour
Never fought for gold
Live long and prosper
Never really got old
Live long and prosper
Never really got old
Joe Keithley, Falling Apart Songs, SOCAN
Joe Keithley, known by some of us as Joey Shithead and
Art Bergmann are two punk singers from the past who did not stay as they were
and have progressed to new stuff. I am inspired by them to keep going with my
photography, scanning and writing at my age of 81.
I was driving to pick up my daughter Hilary a couple of
months ago when I heard Joe Keithley (who also represents Hilary’s riding in
Burnaby as a City Counsellor) being interviewed on CBC Radio. He then played a
newly recorded version of Men for all Ages that simply had me parking my car to
listen to it.
Men for All Ages
Art Bergmann is launching a new record and officially a
biography on him on Friday September 29th at the Rickshaw Theatre.
An Evening with Art Bergmann
Many people in this city have little memory for its past.
Many of my favourite songs by Art Bergmann like Yellow Pages cannot be found on
the net. But this early one Data Redux (as perfect as a punk song can be) can
be heard here. And here is Keithley’s
new version of Men for All Ages.
Then there are songs that have completely faded from the
memory of many but not from mine. The Secret Vs were a punk band from the early
80s. Their song Waiting for the Drugs to Take Hold is one of my favourite
Vancouver songs ever. There are some who might think that the lyrics fit our Vancouver right now.
Waiting for the Drugs to Take Hold
Sometimes I feel proud to be living in Vancouver. I am right now thanks to these fine men.
And I must add that Rosemary and I when living in Mexico City, in the early 70s we were fans of La Odisea del Espacio. It was a dubbed version of Star Trek. Captain Kirk often said, "¿Chihuahua, donde está el señor Espok?
When we arrived to Vancouver in 1975 while watching TV I asked Rosemary, "Why is Shatner in a SuperValu ad?" We did not know he was Canadian.
Wednesday, September 13, 2023
|Rosa 'Darcey Bussell' 13 September 2023|
More than ever I know that few in this century have
enough staying power to read
beyond one line and are more likely to put a thumbs-up emoji instead of that
terrible past method “nice pic”.
At the same time, since I began blogging in January of
2006, I have comfortably understood that my knowledge of poetry (I was sadly
ignorant before) has grown as I have been mating my photographs with poems now
for a long time. Google is indeed a good source to find combinations.
On a day like today, a lazy Wednesday of nice sun, I
noticed a red English Rose, Rosa ‘Darcey Bussell’. I have written a few blogs
featuring a red rose with poets like Borges, William Carlos Williams and
William Shakespeare. Google again came to the rescue with a poem I had never
seen before by W.H. Auden and a lovely one in Spanish by Chilean poet Gabriela Mistral.
I can assert here, that thanks to my blog (I like that
Spanish word bitácora which is a ship’s blog but really defines a blog to me), I
am a pretty literate person.
It is of no consequence of importance that I will meet my
And no matter how rosy this red rose is, when I saw it as I cut it, and scanned it I saddened while thinking of my Rosamaría who so much liked this particular red rose.
by W. H. Auden
My love is like a red red rose
Or concerts for the blind,
She's like a mutton-chop before
And a rifle-range behind.
Her hair is like a looking-glass,
Her brow is like a bog,
Her eyes are like a flock of sheep
Seen through a London fog.
Her nose is like an Irish jig,
Her mouth is like a 'bus,
Her chin is like a bowl of soup
Shared between all of us.
Her form divine is like a map
Of the United States,
Her foot is like a motor-car
Without its number-plates.
No steeple-jack shall part us now
Nor fireman in a frock;
True love could sink a Channel boat
Or knit a baby's sock.
y la canela
y el pez
de la redoma
de una vez.
que la miel;
y el pez
y más y
Nostalgia por México - ¿Un Profeta?
Tuesday, September 12, 2023
|Mi nostalgia por México y Doña Marina|
pone en boca de Jesús (Lucas 4 24) las siguientes palabras: “De cierto os digo,
que ningún profeta es aceptado en su propia tierra” (Lucas 4:24). Aludía a sí
mismo, pues muchos pobladores de la zona en la que predicaba no creían que él
fuese el enviado de Dios, tal cual como lo había anunciado el profeta Isaías.
valenciana a menudo me decía, “Nadie es profeta en su tierra”. Nunca me he olvidado sus palabras, especialmente
ahora que tengo 81 años y rememoro el pasado en el cual viví:
1. Desde mi
nacimiento el 31 de agosto de 1942 en Buenos Aires hasta el 1953.
1953 en México, ciudad, Nueva Rosita, Coahuila hasta 1958.
1958 hasta 1961 en Austin, Texas en una escuela de secundaria católica de
1961 en México, ciudad y Veracruz hasta el 1964.
1965 hasta 1967 en Buenos Aires como conscripto and la Marina de Guerra
1967 hasta 1975 con mi Rosemary y dos hijas en la Zona Rosa y Arboledas, Estado
1975 hasta hoy en Vancouver, Canadá.
de dónde soy? ¿Cuál es mi tierra?
A fines del
siglo pasado tuve el conocimiento tardío (¡obvio!) que para sentir nostalgia por un lugar hay que no estar
en ese lugar.
poco me he dedicado con mi fotografía a explorar mi nostalgia por México.
The Warmth of Mexico in 10 parts
Mu último adiós
de origen español, Paco Taibo II y el Fondo de Cultura Económica me invitaron hace
unos meses a participar en la semana de la Feria del Libro en la Ciudad de
México, en el Zócalo. Comienza el 13 de octubre. Voy a charlar y mostrar mis
retratos de escritores.
mi preparación, me he comunicado por WhatsApp con la hija de Taibo, Marina, es una mujer que me
ha alegrado la vida. Me ha ayudado a superar la tristeza de este viudo que vive en una soledad suavizada por dos gatos. Por ella, me ha
venido una ráfaga de emoción que me revela que quizá en México sea un profeta.
mi presentación en el Zócalo y en la Librería Rosario Castellanos, voy a vivir
un pasado con los fantasmas de mi mamá, abuela y mi querida Rosemary.
cosas que no cambian en esa ciudad. Pienso comer en dos lugares que frecuentaba
con Rosemary, El Rey del Pavo (muy cerca de la Casa de los Azulejos Sanborn’s)
y Seps en la Colonia Condesa. Cerca de Seps está la Librería Rosario
Castellanos que antiguamente fue el Cine Lido. Estaba a dos cuadras de donde vivía
con mi mamá y abuela desde el 61 al 64 en la Avenida Tamaulipas.
Iré a las
calles de Herodoto y la de Estrasburgo (atrás del Cine Latino) que fueron los
primeros lugares en donde vivimos Rosemary y yo.
Otro lugar pereferido
eran nuestros desayunos en el patio del Hotel Majestic con vista al Zócalo. No soy el único que coincide con las lindas posibilidades del Hotel Majestic. El hotel es importante en la novela de Taibo II - La Sombra de La Sombra.
Y si tengo
tiempo iré al Castillo de Chapultepec para ver las hermosas zapatillas rosadas de
Carlota, Emperatriz de México.
En fin, voy
a volver a mis raíces, raíces con las cuales descubriré los placeres de sentirme
Paco Taibo II, Marina Taibo y el Fondo de Cultura Económica.
Nobody Heard the Tree Fall - I Did
Monday, September 11, 2023
“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.”
I have a good friend that is becoming a better friend from
one day to the next. My artist friend, Martin Guderna, is the only person I can
call after 10pm who will always answer the phone.
Today in our lengthy conversation I noticed a slight
difference of opinion.
Guderna, would probably state, that if there is nobody around
in a forest when a tree falls, then the tree will not have fallen. He says that
an artist has the obligation to show the work. It is for this reason he will
exhibit his paintings in a gallery.
I had many shows in my past and Rosemary often told me how
much money I was spending in framing and matting and that nobody ever bought
anything. I now feel guilty when I see my piles of matted photographs and how
Rosemary, in spite of the terrible expense, backed my efforts to show my stuff.
After talking to Guderna today, I thought of Didion’s
statement on why she writes. Every evening around 9:30 I am shown by Facebook
about 8 or 9 blogs from the past years with today’s month date. I have written
(as of today including this one) 5898 blogs. It is impossible for me to
remember all of them and even remember some of the contents.
So I have come to a modification of Didion’s dictum:
I read the blogs I have written to find out what I was
thinking when I wrote them.
With that conclusion it is not in the least important if anybody uses emojis on my blogs links in social media (with perhaps not having read the accompanying copy). If anybody reads or not reads the blogs it is entirely irrelevant.
I am in that forest and I did hear the tree fall.