Chipi-Chipi & Garúa with Niño
Saturday, February 10, 2024
Garúa is the Argentine word for a fine drizzle/
Chipi-chipi is the Mexican term.
Today I managed to take Niño for a walk and it began to
drizzle in the last part of the walk. Niño, a smart cat, ran ahead of me home.
Below is today’s blog which is all about the usual, my missing my Rosemary.
I am almost sure that if anybody even begins to read any of
my blogs of late they must think I am a one trick pony that can only write
melancholic stuff about his Rosemary that he lost on December 8 2020.
My response to anybody who might communicate, via phone or
email, is that I write the blog for me and that I take Joan Didion’s cue that I
write in order to find out what I am thinking.
And what do I think about when I wake up? During the whole day even if I have
distraction, and when I get into bed and turn of the lights its Rosemary. I
think of Rosemary and that I no longer share my life with her.
A bright moment every day, weather permitting is my walk
around the block with my male cat Niño. It was Rosemary who taught him to walk
without a leash. I feel I have the obligation to continue her routine. It is
pleasant but sad because I take the same route and I can sense that absent
presence of Rosemary.
Today I walked Niño. I felt satisfied that I had performed
an important obligation (one of the few that I now have).
But as pleasant as it was to see him walk with me as it
started to rain I thought of going home to lie by Rosemary and tell her, “It
began to rain but Niño and I managed just fine.” She would have smiled.
The Obverse Side
Wednesday, February 07, 2024
I have written about this before. Today I can add an
interesting variation on the subject.
The other side of two dimensions
For close to 10 years I was friends with a Vancouver
couple of Argentine artists, Nora Patrich and Juan Manuel Sánchez. I met them
at tango classes. Sánchez was a worse dancer than I was but he became my mentor
in art and we did many colaboraciones where we mixed his drawings with my
photographs on one paper.
|Juan Manuel Sánchez in his studio in Vancouver
I had no idea who the Mannerists (Manieristas) were until
Sánchez gave me a friendly art education. I found out that El Greco was a
Mannerist as was my fave Bronzino.
Sánchez was born in 1930 and he died in 2016. I went to
visit him at his studio in Buenos Aires a few months before he died. After our
chat we went for coffee. I began the conversation with, “The next time I come…”
He did not let me finish. He said, “I will not be here.”
|Corvus Cuervo - colaboración
In his studio I noticed that his memory was spotty. I
presented him with a sheet of cardboard (one side was shiny silver) and asked
him to draw me one of his trademark nudes. He looked at the sheet and said, “But
it has two sides.” I then said, “Da Vinci.” That was all he needed as he had a
memory of the da Vinci painting at the National Gallery in Washington DC that
has two sides.
I noticed that instead of dating his work 2016 he wrote 916. I was not going to correct him.
For me it is special to have his two nudes framed in one
frame. It has this side and an obverse side.
How lucky I was to have met and loved this man!
A Moment - A Memory
Tuesday, February 06, 2024
|Rosemary Elizabeth Healey
While I cannot speak for others, one of the tragedies of my
life, is that when I became curious to ask the question, the person that could
give me the answer was dead.
I never did ask my father how it was that in 1950 a frequent
visitor was his friend Julio Cortázar. Why were they friends?
This photograph of Rosemary is a scan (amazing but almost
forgotten technology of the last century) of a little picture from our family
album that I never noticed as it was too small. Was it taken in her high school
graduation? Could it have been in college?
I will never know.
Because I first photographed Rosemary when we met in 1967,
this photograph represents almost the idea of meeting somebody for the first
time. It was until now an undiscovered picture of her.
When she died in December 9, 2020 I was 78. A quotient of the
two numbers means that at that point our life together had been 66% of my
existence. At that time I had never lived alone. I have now lived alone for
I cannot adjust. My two daughters often call me. My
granddaughters do not. Up until Rosemary died we had contact with those
granddaughters. I miss them.
Since then, a great majority of the friends and writers I
worked with have died. Isolation since the pandemic began is now routine. The
phone almost never rings.
I have a former editor friend who told me, “I never answer
emails as I get too many of them. I never answer my land line. If you want to
contact me I must tell you that I have my cell phone ringer on off so you must
first text me that you want to talk.”
Of course I do not communicate with him. He does not
communicate with me as (my opinion) I have lost my usefulness as a photographer
or writer. He no longer edits any magazine or newspaper.
My isolation is thus compounded by the idea that I have lost
my utility to anybody with what I know how to do.
What saves me from a desire for a rapid oblivion are my two
cats Niño and Niña. I have found out that cats learn. When Rosemary and I
brought Niño and his sister Niña from the SPCA 6 years ago, Niña was a scaredy cat.
She would hide in the closet when people came. She rapidly adopted Rosemary and
was with her all the time. I felt a tad miffed.
I can report that since Rosemary died, Niña is by my side or
on top of me on the bed whenever possible. She competes for my attention with
the cat that was always my cat, Niño.
I wonder if they are aware of my isolation? I wonder if they
I have since learned that for a cat to want affection is to
be affectionate. They are affectionate.
Rosemary was affectionate in a different way. She always
made sure I had extra razors and shaving cream. She planned our trips abroad
all with her iPhone on the bed. I complained to my daughters that Rosemary
spent too much time on or in the bed. That is precisely what I do now.
Nobody can understand what happens when you suddenly do
not share a bed, or have a joint tub bath (we did this frequently) or watch
Noir Alley on TV with your wife.
I have no idea exactly what the term “not to have the heart
to” means. But I have ceased watching TV, going to the theatre and most
concerts. I lie on the bed with my two cats and read books in Spanish. I don’t
know anybody in Vancouver who might be interested in the importance of Ernesto
Sábato’s Sobre Héroes y Tumbas or any of the short stories of Borges or
I could have discussed all that with Rosemary. We often read
the same author on duplicate books.
Only lately have I come to understand that a moment in time becomes a memory.
With spring around the corner, I will be working in the
garden again. Even though I do not believe in ghosts I will sense Rosemary’s
presence and when I smell my roses it will be like smelling Rosemary behind the