Well, shoot. After only a month, my post on the geese that took over Mum’s yard is already out of date – the birds moved on! (Everyone’s a critic…) It got me wondering what other of my posts could use refreshing. And since it’s the time of year for reflection, here are a few new images and thoughts on a sampling of old “bits” of the Tesserology mosaic representing my life and interests: bits on travel, sport and my favorite tv show ever.
THE GREAT ASHLAND MIGRATION BIT This post was mainly about my family trips to Ashland, Oregon for Shakespeare, but the memory truly was triggered by those geese! Alas, my honking muses appear to have flown slightly south to the nearby golf course where now (in blatant disregard of club rules, I must say) they make tons of noise and leave unsavory calling cards all over the green – plus, I’ve never seen a single one wear a shirt with a collar.
Anyway, another thing I’ve realized (who knew those fickle fowl would prompt so much introspection..?) is that I haven’t shared anything about the mosaic photo that was the inspiration for the theme of this blog – and a sliver of which appears at the top of every post. It’s from the extensive ruins at Butrint (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) that I had the pleasure of scrambling around while on a cruise that stopped in Sarande, Albania.
It’s a remarkable collection of structures spanning centuries of occupation (including by the Romans). What especially delighted me about the site was the lack of modern-day encroachment and the unfettered access (for good or bad, I suppose) one had – including to the remnants of a building where that colorful section of mosaic flooring peeked out from overtaking grass and grit. There within my reach (well, you know, when I knelt down) was a real – and really colorful – piece of history!
As I stood mesmerized instead of moving on with our tour group, I expected some guardian with an oversized blazer and a walkie to race over and demand that I back off – or someone hiding in shadow from the heat of the day to leap out, whistle blasting (um, not that either thing has ever happened to me…). But no one spoiled the magic.
Accessible or not, I appreciated that one shouldn’t disturb things. Still, I just couldn’t help pausing to trace with a tentative finger the patterns in those tiles – those tesserae – which had been carefully laid so very long ago. Yeah, even though I felt a bit wicked, I kinda did it anyway…
THE “WE” IN “TEAM” BIT and THE BISCUIT IN THE BASKET BIT These posts were about devotion to sports teams and especially about my family’s obsession with ice hockey! As proof that it has to be carried in my DNA, here (with apologies for the quality) are a few screen captures of the home movies I mentioned my Grandpa Jack took (I believe in the 50’s) that I thought were going to be primarily about family. Instead, quite a bit appears to be the result of his lugging a camera to several Chicago Blackhawk games.
As I said before, this is clear proof to me that my becoming a hockey fan (Go Kings Go!) was entirely inevitable. Like some unseen Force, passion for the sport runs strong in my family and surrounds us and binds us. I have it. My grandfather had it. My nephew has it. And my mom? No doubt she has it too!
THE TESSERA WITH TRIBBLES Speaking of The Force, yeah it’d be more apropos to talk about Star Wars – and I’m totally looking forward to seeing the new film – but I was just as excited for the recent release of the trailer for the next installment of the Star Trek reboot! I was saddened though earlier in 2015 by the passing of the venerable Leonard Nimoy, and recalled that a couple decades before I wrote this post about having loved the Original Series pretty much since birth, I once ran into the man – almost literally.
I’d scored my first proper job in LA at the Writers Guild of America and one morning I was hurrying up their big main staircase, getting lost in thoughts about basic cable residuals (as you do), when I heard a wonderfully deep, rumbly and entirely familiar voice. I glanced up – and there, moving down the stairs deep in conversation, was Leonard Nimoy. Mr. Spock, himself! I stepped (well, stumbled…) aside and just gaped as this idol from my most beloved series continued past. He was busy anyway but I was far too (I gotta say it) stunned to be able to summon the courage even to offer a brief-yet-polite-but-appropriately-reverent-although-not-reverent-to-the-point-of-being-nerdy-or-creepy-or-anything kind of a greeting.
As years have passed, I’ve tried not to figure I missed the opportunity for a meaningful moment with someone who played such an enormous (albeit completely imaginary and one-sided) role in my childhood. Nope. I’ve decided to be glad I barely avoided tripping and face-planting right at the feet of an icon…
THE BIT ABOUT NEXT SEASON Since the current college football season is heading toward its climax, it seems fitting to revisit this post about football and the fall. Being a UC Berkeley alum, I weathered the customary ups and downs this year of another exciting and exasperating campaign. And I didn’t give up pride or hope, in part because my lack of faith as a freshman caused me to forego the Big Game against Stanford that ended with what has come to be known simply – and famously – as “The Play.” Along with both real and fake Big Game Daily Cals from that historic sporting event, I still carry around a measure of regret that I wasn’t there. Oh – and maybe I don’t deserve it, but it turns out I’ve been carrying around a t-shirt as well.
I was pleased that Cal’s record wound up being good enough to get them a spot in the Armed Forces Bowl this year. As ever, I hoped we’d be able to finish the season on a good note. And the Bears came through! Not gonna lie though – I had some alternate text ready just in case. ; )
So there’s my revisiting of old mosaic bits I’ve shared. As we head into a new year, I’m looking forward to brushing the grass and grit off more treasured memories and to continuing to follow the adventures of my fellow bloggers! And I wonder what new bits will be added to my mosaic in the coming months – these bits that, arranged all together, make us the unique people we are. As with every life, some might be ordinary and some not so pleasing. But some – ohhh, some! – just might be dazzlingly and amazingly bright!
Happy New Year to all – and may your mosaic for 2016 be filled with the bright ones!