Posts Tagged ‘Star Trek’

The Captain and his Earl Grey Tea

Star Trek Memories

I came across a cartoon pie chart titled “Why I drink Earl Grey tea.” It was divided into two slices, one large one and one smaller piece. The smaller of the two represented “Because I like the taste,” while the larger slice represented “Because I want to feel like Captain Picard.”

That earned a belly laugh from me. But if you’re not a Star Trek fan, you probably don’t even understand what’s funny.

Jean-Luc Picard, who through several Star Trek television series and films is portrayed as captain of the starship USS Enterprise, is a man to be respected.  The fictional character is played by actor Patrick Stewart, and his portrayal comes across as the kind of hero who deserves being looked up to. Were that there were more of these kind of honorable examples on TV than the other kind.

 I’m not a rabid Star Trek fan, as some in my family are, but I have watched many of the shows. Two stand out in my mind, which means if nothing else they are memorable.

The first of my favorites goes back to the original Star Trek television series starring William Shatner as the starship captain. It was a funny show first aired in 1967 about sweet, furry pets called Tribbles. The trouble was how fast they multiplied.

My second favorite Star Trek episode was with Jean-Luc Picard as captain of the Enterprise. He had a chance to go back and relive his life, avoiding a fight in which he had suffered an injury that later in life would threaten his life.

He went back and avoided the fight – but in his new life he never was promoted to captain. This confirmed my belief that we are who we are today because of who we were in the past.

In the meantime, the makers of Earl Grey tea, which is Picard’s favorite, are certainly getting some free publicity. The character and the actor have given new meaning to the word bald: Sexy.

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I was in my 40s when I got hooked on white water rafting, a passion that I indulged in for the next 25 years. I also learned to ski in my 40s. — Photo by Pat Bean

          Live now; make now always the most precious time. Now will never come again.” Jean-Luc Picard, from the episode “Inner Light”

A Page from My Journals

One of the eye-openers of rereading my journals is the footnotes I sometimes want to add to the bottom of a page when I come across an entry that has a new, or expanded meaning in my shifting brain.

I had quite a few boyfriends beginning in my 40s, even married one of them — for eight months. We parted friends. When Willie and Julio sing about all the girls they’ve loved before, I think of all the boys I’m glad came along. 

For example, on May 9, 1998, I quoted Katharine Butler Hathaway, whose memoir, The Little Locksmith, was first published in 1943, and then reprinted in 2000 by The Feminist Press. Though disabled, Katharine made a full life for herself.

Wrote Katharine: “It is only by following your deepest instinct that you can lead a rich life … if you let your fear of consequence prevent you from following your deepest instinct then your life will be safe, expedient, and thin.”

My 1998 response to the quote was to recall a Star Trek episode in which Picard realized it was his foolish youth that gave him the necessary confidence to be the captain of the Enterprise.

Thinking back now I realize that it was my own wild 40s, when I was truly on my own for the first time in my life, that was my version of a foolish youth. I don’t think I would be the happy, confident, satisfied, old-broad I am today without those years. And I kinda like this old broad. Whatever it is, my life is not thin.

     Bean Pat: I recently got hooked on this site: poem-a-day@poets.org A poem comes to my email every day in both type and audio form. I listen to the audio. It’s a great way to get my brain juices rolling in the morning.

Pat Bean is a retired journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, enthusiastic birder, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon, and is always searching for life’s silver lining.

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