A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.


Plata & The Unnamed Red Rose
Saturday, July 26, 2008

Rebecca and Lauren's new flowered dresses (made to order) arrived from Vancouver Island yesterday so I decided to photograph the girls with some of the roses of the garden. The problem is that the girls chose the patterns for the dresses. While Rebecca selected a mauve flowered pattern that goes with most of the roses and blends in the garden Lauren chose a flourescent green coloured dress that clashed with everything. We managed to find a miniature rose that looked fine, called Rosa 'Green Ice'. These pictures will appear soon in this blog.

Rebecca was choosing the roses for her portraits and with my secateurs in hand she snipped her favourites, or at least her favourites among the ones that were in bloom today. She asked me about a red tea rose. I told her that it and Rosa 'Honor' had come with the house in 1986 and that I have never had the heart to get rid of them. The red rose has no scent and it blooms sporadically. I have a brand new deep red rose Rosa 'Crimson Glory' that blooms freely and with a very sweet scent. I tried to explain to Rebecca how I could not just dig up the old red rose and turf it. I am not about to let nature take it course and having it die by not taking care of it. Somehow the plant was a choice of the previous owner of our garden. Yet space is at a premium in our garden, particularly a sunny space where roses really thrive. I should get rid of the nameless red rose.

But I keep thinking about Brother Edwin Reggio CSC who taught me about the Catholic church's version of the different levels of life and their corresponding complexity. Without mentioning the ambivalent (which side of existence are you guys are?) nature of viruses his list went as follows:

1. Rocks
2. Amaebas
3. Mosses and lichens.
4. Plants.
5. Fish, insects
5. Animals 9body and rudimentary spirit)
6. Humans (body and a soul)
7. Angels (no body but pure spirit)
8. God (Pure and the highest spririt of them all)

This list has kept me satisfied for most of my years. And then I began to read the in our local papers and found out that the whales of our aquarium were very smart and almost human. Then it became known that the local pacific octopus was uncommonly smart. Any day now there will be calls to release the super smart and super cute Vancouver Aquarium sea otters.

Could it be that my female cat Plata (seen here) is as smart as she looks when she stares at me? She is affectionate and walks around the block with us every day. I remember the other three cats that I have buried in our garden (Rebecca is annoyed that I cannot mark the exact spots). Are they any different from humans? Are we any different from them?

In the end I explained to Rebecca that the unnamed red rose to me is no different from Plata. It might not stare at me or walk around the block with me. But every year it does its best to please me. In its own quiet and scentless way is tells me, "I am here. Notice me. Take care of me." And so the red rose will remain even if her space is a premium space. In some ways she is just like Plata. I have never liked the idea of acquiring a kitten as oposed to full grown cat. Rosemary's dear black cat Mosca (who had a heart attack on our bed while Rosemary was watching Vertigo) was the exception. Both Rosemary and I enjoy the uncertainty of acquiring a cat that somebody else has owned. We get our cats from the SPCA and we like the idea of learning to get along while discovering the already set personality of the cat. We adapt to it, and in some situations the cat will adapt to us. Plata was not affectionate in the beginning but she is so now.


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Leo & Sunny

Rebecca Wants A Chicken & My Famous Iced Tea

Lauren, Rebecca, A Dead Snake & Grasshoppers

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