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


One Wise King - Not
Tuesday, January 06, 2009

At least twice by the end of 2008 I wrote about melancholy, here and here. While much of that melancholy was dissipated by Christmas cheer it is back in full force as I contemplate on my Christmas tree on January 6, the Epiphany or as we know it in Latin America Los Tres Reyes Magos. I wrote about my personal relevance to the Epiphany here.

Even though I was 11 years old at my last Argentine Tres Reyes, the lazy and hot summer days and my being sent to some remote "camp" (as Anglo Argentines call the campo or pampa) , a place with a smooth, uninterrupted horizon and being forced (a good thing even though I was not aware then) to learn to make friends with people I had never met before.

The melting snow outside cannot cool the feeling of warmth and nostalgia that I have for the Epiphany and the terrible (then) gifts of useless wooden toys that Eva PerĂ³n gave us on that day when all I wanted was an Erector set or an electric train.

Part of the allure is in the Spanish meaning of mago. A mago in Spanish is a magician. The three wise kings, los tres reyes magos, were magicians to us. All was possible if they intervened. I thought then that the little box of myrrh probably also contained a pristine white rabbit ready to jump out and delight the precocious newborn in that stable crib.

And of course that melancholy is further increased by having to remove the ornaments from the tree which we traditionally perform tomorrow. It's been up for what seems only a few days. But the tree has become my friend. Every time I come into the living room to write my blog I can smell with delight the scent of my Pseudotsuga menziesii or Douglas Fir.

But some of that melancholy has vanished as I found this picture which was our Christmas card for 1981. I took the picture in our Burnaby basement in November 1981 so Hilary (below, right) was 9 and Ale was 13. Our basement had a very low ceiling so I was forced to use a wide angle lens which made people in front look bigger than those in the front. That the whole family was present for Christmas Eve dinner 27 years later has to be something that even makes this melancholy man smile, if only for a short while.


Previous Posts
Las Hermanas En Los Vestiditos Negros

Billiken, Potential Energy & Kanfer's Brando

Letting Go Of Rebecca While Not Telling All

Flinging Monkeys & Linearity Bites The Dust

An Uncircumcised Heathen - An Epiphany

A Butterfly Flies In From Paris - Par Avion

Goh For Gold (Cultural) In 2010 Olympics

Magic, A Red Schuco, Alfonso Cuarón & Mervyn Ferna...

An iPod, A Shuffle Setting & Memory Of A Christmas...

The Spooks Were Cool

January 2006

February 2006

March 2006

April 2006

May 2006

June 2006

July 2006

August 2006

September 2006

October 2006

November 2006

December 2006

January 2007

February 2007

March 2007

April 2007

May 2007

June 2007

July 2007

August 2007

September 2007

October 2007

November 2007

December 2007

January 2008

February 2008

March 2008

April 2008

May 2008

June 2008

July 2008

August 2008

September 2008

October 2008

November 2008

December 2008

January 2009

February 2009

March 2009

April 2009

May 2009

June 2009

July 2009

August 2009

September 2009

October 2009

November 2009

December 2009

January 2010

February 2010

March 2010