Monday, January 22, 2018

A Vision Softly Creeping / Una Visión Arrastrándose Suavemente

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

ALTHOUGH SAN GERALDO and I scanned hundreds of photos before our move to Spain in 2011, we still brought with us more than two dozen photo albums. Two years ago, after my mother died, we brought back another box of photos from New York. Some of the photos are now nearly 100 years old. Some, from my childhood, are more than 50 years old. And many have been slowly fading and discoloring. I'm trying to scan and restore the ones worth saving. It's a fun exercise. Except when it's depressing.

My mother had photos from the day my sister Dale died of cancer at the age of 29. After the funeral, two of Dale's friends took us all out to dinner. It was a nice restaurant. Or an elegant pub. Somewhere near Doncaster or somewhere near Sheffield. Or somewhere else. I have no idea. I know we were in England. The only thing I clearly remember is that there was a folk singer. All the songs he sang were by Simon & Garfunkel. I could picture myself sitting in Dale's room listening to their albums on her portable record player. We even went to Scarborough together in the mid '70s ("Are You Going to Scarborough Fair"). Just as we sat down, he sang, "Hello darkness, my old friend..." My mother and I looked at each other and waited for the inevitable "Silence like a cancer grows." Somehow, we survived that meal.

Today I've decided I've had enough of being morose. I need to laugh more.

AUNQUE SAN GERALDO y yo escaneamos cientos de fotos antes de mudarnos a España en 2011, todavía trajimos con nosotros más de dos docenas de álbumes de fotos. Hace dos años, después de que mi madre murió, trajimos otra caja de fotos desde Nueva York. Algunas de las fotos tienen ahora casi 100 años. Algunos, desde mi infancia, tienen más de 50 años. Y muchos se han ido desvaneciendo y decolorando lentamente. Estoy tratando de escanear y restaurar los que vale la pena guardar. Es un ejercicio divertido. Excepto cuando es deprimente.

Mi madre tenía fotos del día en que mi hermana Dale murió de cáncer a los 29 años. Después del funeral, dos de los amigos de Dale nos invitaron a cenar. Fue un buen restaurante. O un pub elegante. En algún lugar cerca de Doncaster o en algún lugar cerca de Sheffield. O en otra parte. No tengo idea. Sé que estábamos en Inglaterra. Lo único que recuerdo claramente es que había un cantante. Todas las canciones que cantaba eran de Simon y Garfunkel. Podía imaginarme sentado en la habitación de Dale escuchando sus álbumes en su tocadiscos portátil. Incluso fuimos juntos a Scarborough a mediados de los años 70 ("Are You Going to Scarborough Fair"). Justo cuando nos sentábamos, él cantaba: "Hola la oscuridad, mi viejo amigo ..." Mi madre y yo nos miramos y esperábamos el inevitable "Silencio como un cáncer crece". De alguna manera, sobrevivimos a esa comida.

Hoy he decidido que ya he tenido suficiente de estar malhumorado. Necesito reírme más.


SAD EYES. 9 MARCH 1981, 9:50 PM. MY HARRIS TWEED WAS CUSTOM-MADE A FEW YEARS EARLIER; DALE SELECTED THE FABRIC.
OJOS TRISTES. 9 DE MARZO DE 1981 A LAS 21:50. MI TWEED HARRIS FUE HECHO A LE MEDIDA DOS AÑOS ATRÁS; DALE SELECCIONÓ LA TELA.

29 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Wilma,
      Surprisingly, that photo now makes me smile.

      Delete
  2. When I was young, I naively assumed that having lots of photos of my life would be a joy and a pleasure in my old age. Now that I'm older, I realize how bittersweet those photos can be, evoking memories not only of the good times, but of all the pain, loss and betrayal that often lie behind them. A real double-edged sword, just like everything else in life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Debra,
      I’m surprised to smile today at that photo. You’re right. Some photos do bring memories better left buried.

      Delete
  3. I can only imagine the treasure trove of picturesque went through. Very nice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mistress maddie,
      Some really are a joy to see. And lots of surprises.

      Delete
  4. I'm glad that everything past age 20 is pretty much digital, scanning takes a lot of labor

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Adam,
      Ha! For me, it’s most things past age 48 are digital! That’s a lot of scanning!

      Delete
  5. Replies
    1. Kenosha,
      That’s a photo that makes me feel good about him.

      Delete
  6. How the years disappear when you look at an old photo...

    ReplyDelete
  7. We all need more laughter, it is more better that way, after all life is a comedy as the old saying goes.
    We also have 2 big boxes of photo albums, we never look at them and I wonder why am I keeping this, only a few
    I really treasure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Laurent,
      Laughter is a great cure for so many ills. As I scan photos I even wonder why I’m scanning some of really poor quality... and beyond improvement.

      Delete
  8. This was very touching, Mitchell.
    It is very cathartic to spend time with old photos with their 'warts' and all.
    It is also good to realize that there is now..... and time to laugh....out loud if at all possible!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jim,
      So grateful to be able to find so much to laugh about.

      Delete
  9. What Jim said!
    Also, I just spent a week rummaging through boxes and boxes of pics, newspaper clippings, books etc. Much needed catharsis for sure.
    Time to open those beautiful eyes and smile.
    Ron

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ron,
      I would love to sit and go through your old pics with you!

      Delete
  10. If this helps you laugh, then I've done my job. See, sometimes I read without punctuation and when I saw this:
    "Some of the photos are now nearly 100 years old. Some, from my childhood"

    I read it like this:
    "Some of the photos are now nearly 100 years old, some, from my childhood."
    And i thought,""Wow, Mitchell is old."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bob,
      Yeah, Mitchell IS old! Even if you read it correctly! (And I will never again admit that.)

      Delete
  11. Oh my heavens.... I can't believe that it was that Simon & Garfunkel song playing, just as you sat down. Such sorrow. We're here for you to talk about your sorrows or your happy memories, so remember that.

    (Ha! I just read Bob Slatten's comment... "Some of the photos are now nearly 100 years old. Some, from my childhood...." Ha!)

    Judy
    The non-visitor

    ReplyDelete
  12. Were you saying you had sad eyes?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. John,
      My father and I both did. The mouths were smiling. The eyes were not.

      Delete
  13. I know, Mitchell, S&G's music goes straight to the tear ducts. The Sounds of Silence takes me back to the "after party" following my mother's funeral. Sigh. Somehow, though, a sweetness trickles through too. And you're the dapper cutie you always were.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Robyn,
      Dale was my fashion consultant and encouraged me to spend more than I could afford on clothes!

      Delete
  14. This song sometimes makes me sad, but now that I've heard this story, it always will. Looking at old photos is also hard for me - missing my parents still after all these years.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Carole,
      Oh no. Listen to the song and think happy thoughts of my wonderful sister who taught me to dance like a back-up singer for the Dave Clark Five. “I’m Feeling Glad All Over.”

      Delete
  15. Hey, I left a comment yesterday, and it's not here -- two of my friends who have Google blogger blogs have found comments in their spam folders in recent days. Maybe it went there? I had cracked up at Bob Slatten's comment -- ha!
    Judy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Judy:
      Blogspot comments have sure been temperamental lately. I noticed yesterday they're finally posting quickly again. I didn't find yours in Spam or anywhere. Yeah, Bob is a riot...

      Delete

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