Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Look Up//Look Down #33: Spectating

Early Sunday morning, I drove Henry up to San Francisco to watch him play soccer. I seized the opportunity to capture my weekly photographs for Helena's meme Look Up//Look Down.  I took them with my phone and converted them to black and white in instagram. Looking up at the at the venue's sign and down at the bleachers. I love this pair from a photographic stand point. I found myself wishing that I had brought along my big camera, but I'm not sure I could have done better with the DSLR.
I love watching soccer. I love the beauty of the warm-ups as the players dance across the field. I love the way they kneel before the kick off, grabbing a tuft of grass, kissing it and making a quick sign of the cross when the whistle blows. I love the fluidity of the ball as it moves down the field; the ebb and flow of "the beautiful game."
Today Henry is playing with Cometa, the local men's team.  As they play, I think about this team. There's our neighbor Bob - he's over 50 but still plays every minute of the game and holds up the defense. There's Migue (nicknamed "Caballo" because he is as fast and strong as a horse) and his brother Andres, both of whom Henry played with in high school. There's Oscar and Ricky, in their early 30's. At one point in time, every one on the team was related to their father, Oscar, Sr. The club was the town's Mexican team, and Oscar's brothers, sons, nephews, uncles and cousins would all come to play. The other local team was sponsored by the Portuguese Culture Center and made up of  Portuguese players. Now the team has expanded, and I am grateful. This is the team that Henry joined when he first returned to club soccer several years ago - Bob encouraged him to try out for Juventus, the age appropriate club team he made and played with for the last few years. This is the team that welcomes Henry back whenever he is between teams or needs a place to train. This the the team that, in fact, looks after all the local soccer players, giving them a place to play and a continuing sense of community. Cometa  translates to Comet, which the dictionary defines as a "celestial body moving about the sun, usually in a highly eccentric orbit, consisting of a central mass surrounded by an envelope of dust."  That sounds about right. 

16 comments:

Amy said...

I think we are crossing paths today!

I love the shot of the bleachers and you've captured it well ... isn't the saying .. 'a good shot is the one taken with the camera you have'?
Sounds like Henry has had such a nurturing team environment over the years, he is very lucky.

Amy said...

Oh, I meant to say - what I am loving about Look Up/Look Down is the stories it generates ... a bit like a mini scrap page each week. I know I have captured little bits and pieces I would otherwise not have.

helena said...

beautiful lines

Jo.C said...

I love these - you have done a great job. Very emotive.

Missus Wookie said...

I like these too - and with Amy I like how these two photos impart so much more about the stories and people involved.

Sian said...

Not only do I like the picture of the bleachers, I like the word too. It's not one we use here. When we are watching rugby we talk about sitting in the "stands", confusing as that my sound!

debs14 said...

The bleachers is my favourite one of the two this week. As Sian says, it's not one we use in the UK at all and it just sounds 'all American'.
And in football stadiums, the stands are all seated nowadays. Time was that you could stand up to watch a football match, nowadays you have to be seated!

Abi said...

What beautiful words you have paired with stunning photos Rinda. I loved your description of this sport and the joy Henry clearly gets from playing it.

Cheri said...

It is so wonderful that Henry has a team he can "drop in" on anytime he wants to play. My girls played soccer since they were 8 or 9 right until their team fell apart when half the girls graduated the year before my girls. I know they have missed having a regular place to play and I've missed watching them!

alexa said...

Your description of the community is just perfect - such a welcoming, nurturing place, with room for all shapes and sizes. Eccentric rules QK, in my book :). Glad he has such a lovely fall back and sounds as if you feel equally supported and at home. I like the way the photos act as a framework for your musings ... Lovely!

Deb @ Paper Turtle said...

Really cool up/down photos, Rinda, and I just loved reading about your local soccer team and Henry's involvement in it. I love that you have such a strong community where you live - nothing like that for me here in Arizona. Although, I guess it's partly because I don't have a child in school anymore. When Carrie was involved in high school marching band I was much more involved.

Becky said...

Such a sweet story! I love that Henry has so many teams that welcome him.

Louise said...

great photos and like the others i enjoy reading the stories behind the photos x

Flora said...

Black and white photos make everything look so simple and clean. It's nice that Henry has other teams he can play with as easily as his own.

Melissa said...

These photos look great in black & white, and I agree that they probably wouldn't be any better with the big camera.

Sounds like a great team!

Gail said...

Love how the bleachers look in black and white.