Sometimes & Vale Loti Smorgon

Sometimes we live in a little world all our own, safe, secure, protected and cocooned. The world swirls about us and it doesn’t touch us. All the problems, issues and events pass by. Then the world sort of implodes, mortality, age, life and living suddenly demand our attention.

I read books about artists, writers, religious figures, positive stuff. Jeffrey Smart, his magnificent art, his complicated life or just his life. I knew many people in his life it touched me, but yet didn’t intrude or disturb.

This morning I heard that an old friend, had a nasty operation, was dreadfully ill. Then I heard that his mother in law had died, yesterday. Knocked the stuffing out of me a bit. Like often happens with friends from another era, we had sort of drifted apart. My memory of him has always been the eternal beautiful young man. And I was suddenly disturbed, sometimes I hate memory.

Lotti Smorgon and her husband were inspirational. I was terrified of them, they were highly successful and rich, but with enormous style, great depth of character, they supported and gave money to the arts. Australia would not have the art collections it has today without them. I admired them but I was in so many ways, completely over awed. They were members of a very important Australian Jewish family.

Two of Loti’s daughters were friends.

What’s sad is, so few people today would have heard of them. Maybe that’s the way they wanted it. I am certain that they did not give, in order to get accolades. Far from it. But it seems sad that the society we live in now is so fast, so self absorbed that the life, times and contributions of some excellent Australians now goes nearly unlauded.

I am sure that Melbourne’s Art community will be aware, will raise a glass to celebrate the life and times, maybe the large Jewish family Loti came from will also celebrate her amazing life. But without Loti and Victor Smorgon, this State and its art scene would have been impoverished.

I’m not comfortable with the way things are going on planet earth. The avarice, the deep deep divides between the have and the have nots. The sheer confusion of life seemingly so transient, so lacking in depth, not allowing things to be steady. Change always change. Leave nothing. Perhaps the earth needs to be Vogonned to create a deep space super highway.

Time for me has become uncontrolled, it goes by so fast that my brain no longer rates things. Weeks tumble into each other, weekends that are supposed to be filled with leisure, good food and maybe a glass of wine. Even that is forbidden me, my D2 make me feel guilty if I so much as sip a little.

Just before you all burst into uncontrolled laughter and remind me that I am old, older, or even oldest. I know. Try hauling this body around and making light of long sets of stairs. I am well aware that age makes me no longer that lithe young thing. But I refuse to cave in to the vicissitudes thrown at me. I can and I will cope.

What beats me is the ability to deal with change, to cope with the world altering. How come Dolce and Gabana may go to jail on some sort of tax charge. How come the computer I bought a year back is now so out of date? How come I am not rich? How come business is so difficult? How come the wrist watch I bought ten years ago is now a much sort after antique? Its no bloody wonder I am bewildered.

Over the years I have collected a bunch of stuff… lots. I have small collections of many things. Some sit out on shelves having to be dusted, some sit on shelves and don’t get dusted. Some sit in cardboard boxes and hardly ever see the light of day. I opened one such the other day, filled with antique Jewellery I collected in India. Amazing, its all worth lots of money.

I then watched a TV show where a couple of old dodgers had sold everything they had and built a new and naturally, spiffy modern house and then filled it with new stuff. The interviewer asked if the purging of the old stuff had been cathartic… Oh YES the couple cried. Amazing!

Should I do the same, wander about the house and sheds and gather up all the old stuff… certainly enough today to fill a decent sized shop. Or how the hell do I sell it anyway. And then why? Will it purge me, make me some sort of freshly born again master of the now! Doubt it. I thought well Pete, took you a shit load of years to eventually buy a set of antique copper saucepans, right now they sit unused on the shelves of my study, of course I planned to use them, hang them in the new kitchen I was going to build in the country house I planned.

All that sort of went pear shaped… I lost the drive for the country house, thought that it all sounded too much like being forced into a retirement home and that is not my gig. I even got pre approval for a loan, but guess what, my business is successful, its worth a lot and age is not something that they can use to not lend you the money. But I would be struggling to find what I want for the sum approved. Took the edge off it all.

Result, kept the copper, forgot about the house and plunged on. I always do.


~ by peterwatson on August 28, 2013.

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