Saturday, May 20, 2006

Damn Bird

The other day I came home to find a small blue glass bowl smashed to pieces on the kitchen counter. It didn't take a lot of sleuthing to figure out what had happened. A bird (stupid pigeon) landed on the sill of the window above the kitchen sink (evidence: bird poop). It either came in the window a bit or flapped its wings enough to topple the small blue glass bowl that sat on the inside sill.

If this were a regular blue glass bowl, I wouldn't be too upset. However, this bowl was special. I bought this bowl on a field trip to the Mint Museum in Charlotte, NC when I was in the 4th or 5th grade - some time between 1985-87. I'm too lazy to do the math. The Mint Museum was hosting the Ramses the Great exhibit from the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. I remember that the field trip was a big deal for our class. We prepared for weeks. Learning about Egypt. Making sarcophagi from cardboard and such. Writing our names in hieroglyphics. I was in heaven.

I remember not appreciating the exhibit. I mean, as a snobby American kid, I really didn't understand the miracles of craftspersonship that it took to create the objects that we saw - from the huge statues, to the gold pieces, to the ancient glass... huph - no biggie. I have a much different understanding now.

At the museum gift shop, I bought two small blue glass bowls with money my mother had given me that morning. I kept those bowls on the bookshelf in my room as I grew up. I took them with me when I bought my first house. One was either broken or lost at some point. So, when I moved to Israel I brought the remaining one with me here. I didn't bring many things from my life in America when I came here. I sold or gave away tons of belongings. Somehow that cleaning and purging made the items that I brought here more important.

I'm sad that the blue bowl is gone. Yet it seems that its departure comes at the right time. Working at the Israel Antiquities Authority is a full-circle experience for me. The interest and curiosity for old stuff that I felt in elementary school is still there - which makes my job fun. I thought that I was moving to Israeli to be with someone else but it turns out that I was moving here to be more me.

The blue glass bowl. R.I.P.

5 Comments:

At 5/20/2006 12:27 PM, Anonymous Shirat HaSirena said...

I loved this entry. Loved it. I relate to every single word. Sad to see the bowl smashed into pieces...I have some things here like that too and I think I would have to bury them or something if they ever broke.

And isn't it funny how we become more ourselves every single day? I kind of though that stuff was over after college but I realize that every day is an evolution of sorts.

Thanks for writing this...

 
At 5/21/2006 6:44 AM, Blogger Kalvin said...

This is so sad. I have to admit that I'm no fan of pidgeons. I like how you work in the personal attributes of valuation to property. I see there's some backstory I need to read here soon.

 
At 5/21/2006 6:29 PM, Blogger Sam said...

"I thought that I was moving to Israeli to be with someone else but it turns out that I was moving here to be more me."

Love this...

 
At 5/25/2006 9:51 PM, Anonymous michael said...

John, that was...surprisingly moving. I mean, I've read plenty of memoirs for actual people that didn't move me much, but you really made me feel the loss of the blue bowl.

I bet you could glue it back together, though.

 
At 5/27/2006 8:44 AM, Blogger John said...

Thanks everybody! ;-)

I tossed the bowl. It's now in some landfill in Israel waiting for archeologist to uncover 2000 years from now and put back together.

 

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