We take photographs now so throwaway casually. We may forget how even amongst all of those uncounted thousands – so many of which we simply delete – that there are those that may be extra-special. Some few may eventually develop a deeper resonance and longer-term poignancy for us.
Probably you have something similar in your family and amongst your friends. I was doing some tidying up around the house yesterday, and while doing so I once again noticed this photograph on the wall in our lounge. It is one of my all time favorite family photos because of all it represents:
The other day I mentioned that my niece – who’s 18 – has started university this week in Belfast. (She’s at Queen’s.) It’s her first extended time away from home without her parents around. I believe her previous “separation” record was when she was 15: she had flown with us – uncle and aunt – for two weeks in New York and in Florida, just us three.
If you are just starting out, university will seem unfamiliar and maybe at times intimidating. You are thrown back largely on yourself for perhaps the first time. Within days, though, trust me, it will all start to make sense.
That indoor observation deck was indeed superb. (I’m a bit better with heights now than I was then.😉 ) The roof walkaround just above it was reached by escalator with no guided escort being necessary, and was a more “open” viewing experience than the Empire State Building. There was no problem seeing from the top of the old World Trade Center:
I’ve again been spending way too much time in the eighteenth century. (An American and an Englishman walk into a Paris coffeehouse in 1792 and meet an Irishman…) Our present always needs looking after. Specifically, the published “1990s” present, that is.
Since 2013, I’ve been “cocooned” at Amazon. No more. I’m spreading my digital wings.
Ancestry.com is after me again. This below is from an email I received this morning:
A few years ago through Ancestry, I found one of the ship manifests that included my maternal great-grandmother as a young adult sailing to America. She had traveled with about a dozen other people of varying ages, all from the same village in Sicily. My great-grandfather was in America already, awaiting her arrival.
She was born near Syracuse (as was he). She departed Messina, stopped in Naples, stopped next in Marseille, and from there journeyed to New York’s Ellis Island. It was typical for the time and their nationality.
We have learned that Star Trek’s “Sulu” is to be “re-imagined” as gay. Believing that to be “right…for our times,” Guardian writer Ryan Gilbey is clearly pleased by that writers’ decision. Interestingly, however, LGBT activist, and original “Sulu” actor, George Takei, is clearly not:
Today is about celebrating our fathers in their infinite variety and incalculable impacts on our lives. I had been thinking of what to say. However, every time I started writing I gave up – “That’s not it!” – and deleted what I’d begun.
Nothing seemed to capture what I aimed to say. Then I recalled perhaps a more indirect approach would make the point. I reflected on how I’ve fictionalized certain fathers I’ve known over the years and thought sharing some bits here could in its own way serve as the best “tribute”: