Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Dream of the Dolphin

The "John Barrowman Sandwich" Oh my!!!
Why do I travel? Why do I explore? Why do I bird?  Every year at this time, we make an epic "trek" to Phoenix and celebrate science fiction.
Nichelle Nichols(Star Trek's Uhura)
Without science fiction or Star Trek growing up, I would not have explored the many many wonderful places around our world.   These actors remind me of my childhood for they are like my extended family. They were the people I ran away with to escape my own reality during my teenage years. Like most teenagers, I was not comfortable in my own body with my own thoughts and feelings.  I grew up in a small town with small ideas. I knew there was a greater world just beyond that next star. As a young adult, I knew that I wouldn't be there forever. Because nothing is forever.  Time, however, did crawl during those years.  But during that time, I locked myself in a room and read books. My Grandfather, my childhood hero, died when I entered my Freshman year of high school.  He loved Star Trek and passed his torch to me.  He was so young.  At that age, I learned quickly that life was not a given. It was to be treasured.  Embraced.  I made it through high school and escaped the small town.  Thanks to Star Trek every week, I didn't feel alone. They taught me that there was a place for me in this world and that there was hope. I had Star Trek to guide me and remind me that things would be awesome down the road.
Walter Koenig(Star Trek's Chekov)
After all these years, they still inspire the mind.  Nichelle Nichols(the original Uhura) may be losing her hearing, but she is still sharp as a tac. Martin Luther King once told her to stay on Star Trek back in the 60's for she was the only African-American woman on TV at the time. I watched as two gay black men nearly broke down and cried. Many may not know this, but it's not easy growing up in a black community as a gay person.  I had several friends who quietly died from AIDS in the 90's never once telling their families about who they really loved or about their sickness for fear that they would be ostracized from their families.  When their families found out, there was an embarrassment and cover story to go with their deaths. I could not understand this.  I'd bring food to people living with HIV and listen to their stories. I watched, along with 2 thousand other people, as these men stood before Nichelle thanking her for giving them hope. It was a very powerful moment. In the future, both men and women could have a voice as equals, and African-Americans could be someone important who had authority.  We have forgotten today that not so many decades ago, things were not equal. I still remember as a child that there were two drinking fountains in my hometown at the park.  One for the white people and the other for the colored. In Star Trek, the future didn't care what color, gender or orientation you were.
Role models who changed my life
It's not easy watching my TV heroes get older. They were like my family reiterating the words my Mother and Father have taught me over the years.  Embrace all cultures and ideas.  Seek out life and new civilizations and boldly go where no one has gone before. It may not be space for me, but the planet Earth certainly has many wonderful surprises.
Garrett Wang(Harry Kim-Star Trek Voyager)
While Star Trek helped nurture my inner explorer to the greater world; Star Wars captured my active imagination as a boy. I still have all of the toys:)
My brother Matt drinks in seedy places.  Here he is at the Creature Cantina from Star Wars
And today I hold the belief that we are not alone in this universe.  We are but a speck of tiny dust in this big big stellar cosmos. On a lighter note, our fire alarm went off on the 17th floor.  That's a bit scary when you have a lot of stairs to descend:)  And yet it was great seeing Wil Wheaton(Big Bang Theory/Next Gen) in the stairwell on the way down.  I had a good laugh.  We both are in our 40's and pretty much voiced the same things.  I won't repeat them here:)
If Darth Vader had a baby girl.......
I read magazines, the internet and watched TV about all the birds and mammals out there.   What if I got out of my chair and explored these places on my own and created my own adventures and discoveries?  What new truths could I find?
Me and my brother getting our nerd on
Before birding, I traveled and explored the Spanish language and culture.  I taught abroad.  I hiked the trails. And I'm certainly not far.
Cosplay(dressing up)  Batman's villains!
When I began to see birds, I started to understand the quest ahead of me better.  And much like this creature hitting me on my head, I finally opened my eyes to the details.  Life is but a dream?  Well if it is, I don't ever want to wake up.
Goofing around.  Taking a break from birding and travel and just getting caught up  in the moment
Sometimes I get caught up in the daily routines, but I've found that within the daily routines, I can search for that bird or animal hiding in the bush.  The rocks.  Or the tree. For each new bird I see is a new discovery of my own. I am at peace with myself and the world.
Beware of giant wookies!!!
And it all started with a little bit of fantasy and science fiction.  If I can dream; I can also discover new possibilities. Imagination.  Discovery.  Inspiration.  Endless possibilities. The Dream of the Dolphin. I'm still out of the country but will be back soon with some exciting finds.  Stay tuned for more.


  1. A great post Chris! I thoroughly enjoyed all of the photos!

  2. Great post, Chris! My hubby is a fan too! I enjoyed the photos!

  3. Interesting-as-always retrospective and event! I tended to be around too many narrow people, even though I wasn't always in a small place...sometimes it was being the youngest and getting little respect, as Rodney might say? Sci-fi was certainly an escape, as was wondering about "what's out there?"

  4. jaja.. estáis muy guapos.. Sobre todo en la primera foto.. Un saludillo de España..

  5. Great post!!! I loved seeing all the fun you had, and reading your words!

  6. I so totally agree with you about Star Trek setting a lot of good examples. Each episode carried a positive message about controversial current events. Live long and prosper wherever life's journey takes you.

  7. I love your bird posts - but this one is superbly compelling reading! Your journey so far has been fascinating - I look forward to seeing where it takes you next!!

  8. Wow Chris!! you certainly are a man of many facets! I'm now filled with even more admiration for you. A truly great post!

    Always have enjoyed Sci-Fi since I used to listen to a radio programme called 'Journey into Space' in the early 1960s. However, I've never been a dedicated 'trecky' and not seen all the Star Wars movies.

  9. Oh, Chris! This brought tears to my eyes. My daughter was a ballet dancer, and had her dear teacher die of AIDS when she was a teen and it was so devastating. I can't imagine how hard it would be to be accepted as a gay person, much less a black gay person. So hard. LOVED all the photos! I remember so many of these actors even though I haven't been a huge Trekky over the years. But the show was important in so many ways! I can see it had an enormous impact on you. GREAT shots! I know you had a blast!

  10. Wonderful thought-provoking post Chris. Hope you are having a great holiday :)

  11. Chris, this post made my day. Thank you for so eloquently saying how important this show was/is. One of my sons has fallen in love with Star Trek this year and is on a mission to watch every episode of every series ever made. He is also a huge Lego fan and has built every spaceship they have created. Who knows where this interest will take him, perhaps, as you say where no one has gone before.

  12. Excellent post Chris, both words and images. Your 'comicon' trip made me daughter Aimee (28) is a self confessed nerd and has spent this whole weekend at Supanova, the Australian equivalent! Check out her blog down my sidebar it's 'Midnight Pie' she was very envious of your John Barrowman sandwich :))

  13. So much fun- dream on Chris- lives possibilities are endless..


Thanks for stopping by!