Friday, January 4, 2013

Photo Essay on Immortality

I found this snapshot lying around, of my oldest son about 2, so about 1987.

I remember that little red outfit and those ridiculously expensive little leather shoes. (What were we thinking?) My son had wide feet.

I'm feeling nostalgic today, something that always happens after Christmas. This son wasn't here for Christmas. He is half way around the world.

In this picture my son is standing in front of a pretty table (that once belonged to the Tighsolas house) that has a red glass lamp on it. In 1987 the table was in my in-law's house. 

Here's the same table with the same lamp on it in my house.  A bit messier :) You see, my mother in law kept a Protestant Home, I keep a Catholic Home.

Yes, I'm much messier than my mother in law was. No question.

Just to the right of this table is a plant my husband recently moved from another corner of the living room.

This plant gives me another reason to wax  nostalgic.

It was given to me on the occasion of the birth of my second son in 1988.

For this very reason, I have always felt protective of it. Luckily it appears immortal - and virtually indestructible. All it needs is a little water, some indirect sunlight, and a very occasional application of fertilizer.

After 25 years, it has never been prettier, it has 5 well-balanced branches and the orange tinge of its leaves goes with the colour of my new curtains.

And here's another 'plant' that I want to protect.. It's not nearly as pretty. It's pretty gross actually.

It's a giant cactus. (in the corner.) It's so big it is being supported by wire and such. It belonged to my mother. She nurtured it from a little carrot-sized thing and transplanted it into bigger and bigger pots. (She had her reasons, I guess, her own superstitions.)  I believe I was the one who purchased the little cactus, for about 29 cents, no doubt, in and around 1978.

Anyway, I just took the plunge and put my story Milk and Water about 1927 Montreal for sale on Amazon Kindle. My husband is proud of me because I tend to give everything away for free.

Milk and Water features my grandfather, Jules Crepeau, the former Director of Services of Montreal as a main character.. In the messy table-top picture above there's a snapshot of a street sign Rue Jules Crepeau.

I took this picture in the late 80's, when my husband and I were out buying our first computer and we stumbled upon a street named for my grandfather, in Ahunsic.

(Well, we had to go back home and get a camera and go back and take the picture and then get it developed.) We were in Ahunsic because there was only one store we knew about that sold computers and it was in that particular neighbourhood.

I don't expect to make much money off my e-book.  I don't expect fame, either. The truth is, I want something far  less likely. (Let's me honest) As Augustus's wife Livia, in the BBC mini-series I Claudius, says on her death bed, "I want to be a Goddess. I want to be immortal."

And, personally,  I want more than a street sign in an out of the way part of town. (Well, Ahunsic is pretty central.

I lately watched I Claudius for only the 2nd time in 36 years (it's from 1976 Yikes! ) and I recalled only two scenes, the one where Caligula gives his sister-wife a traumatic Caesarian (how could I forget) and this particular deathbed scene. Sian Phillips is so poignant in this scene, and that's ironic, as Livia was a vile woman.

Parc Jules Crepeau
I want my kids to remember me after I'm gone, because, as I have come to realize,  life passes by all too quickly. Below is a pic of a mural from the Real Livia's dining room. I printed out a copy and scotch taped it over my toilet.