Oh my, oh my.
Tuesday, 24 May 2016
Julian and Sandy were (gay) characters on the radio show 'round the horne' in the middle sixties. Pretty much nobody understood what they were saying, especially as they were using polari, but audiences loved them.
During this period of turmoil, The Mothers Of The Plaza Mayor, as they came to be called, gathered regularly in the plaza and with extreme bravery demanded the right to know the fate of their children, all 'disappeared' while the country was under the leadership of General Videla.
It is now estimated that 30,000 were 'disappeared'.
In 1983, Adolfo Sellingo, a navy captain, testified that it was a common practice for prisoners to be drugged, taken on board military planes, transported and thrown out into the Atlantic Ocean.
Mass graves continue to be found in remote locations.
Three of the founders of The Mothers Of The Plaza de Mayo were themselves 'disappeared'. What was left of them was discovered and identified in 2005.
Rest in Peace: Leonie Duquet, Esther Careaga, Maria Eugenia Blanco.
Sunday, 22 May 2016
Symi, Greece, 1983. I'm 34.
One morning, a Danish girl and I set out to walk to the other end of the island, to Panormitis. It was a stiff climb. Along the way, we stopped in the shelter of a glade and I spilt the oil from a can of sardines over our map. The heat was crushing, with the cicadas whistling and not one leaf moving in the stillness. I fell asleep.
We got to the monastery in the evening. We wanted one room, because it was cheaper, but the papas wouldn't allow it because we weren't married.
In the morning, we struck out to return back to Yialos. The path was a different one, mostly uphill, and sometimes we got lost. Sweat fell from me, soaking my hair and t-shirt.
We came back to the town by way of the nearby bay of Pedi in late afternoon. We sat down in the shade of a taverna, and here you see me waiting for our food to come. We were so tired and hungry and sticky. Ida took the photograph.
But it was good, the whole thing was good. There is no more beautiful place than a Greek island with its penetrating light and sere landscape set against the vivid blue of its sea.
Saturday, 21 May 2016
I go see my doctor and he talks about my low mood. This is the term they use nowadays for depression.
Sometime during my teenage years, I began to experience bouts of huge crushing deadness. How I survived them, I don't know. Of course, in those days, you never went to your doctor, because they were barely aware of the illness, and you didn't talk to anyone, friends or family, because it was rather scorned as self-pity, as self-indulgence. That view has perhaps changed, but people are still at a loss how to respond to it.
Depression has dogged me for fifty years. It's become a part of me. It's there all the time. I can't imagine who I would be without it.
I've considered suicide many times, but it hasn't happened yet. I find the thought of it very calming. Still, something in me keeps me thinking of continuing living.
I've been prescribed Prozac for five years now. It helps, but will never change the fundamental construction of my mind.