This afternoon I went with a young friend to Southern Methodist University's Meadows Museum. The museum featured a special exhibit about the Etruscans. This exhibit closes its run this month, just as the King Tut exhibition at the Dallas Museum of Art enters the final innings of its King Tut exhibition. The King Tut exhibition involves an extra admission fee, and a fair amount of hoopla. The Etruscan exhibit features no crowds and no extra museum fee. Yet the Etruscan exhibit proved to be a fascinating display of things left behind by a people from 900 B.C.E. to 300 B.C.E. Although I liked both exhibitions, I preferred the quiet wonder of the Etruscan brass and gold to the frenetically mummified showmanship of King Tut's curators.
I thought with sadness of a civilization of some age and complexity, told only through the stories of its conquerors. The sculptures of sturdy Etruscans and the graceful seabirds on their pottery had messages to tell me I could not decipher. It was a bit like getting a link to a great Lithuanian nature website.
After we enjoyed the museum, we went once more to Arbor Hills Nature Preserve. We enjoyed hiking there. The highlight was when an entire flock of colorful cedar waxwing birds landed on a nearby tree directly across from a watch-tower in which we stood. It was great fun to look at them in our binoculars. Then we adjourned to the Joy Luck BBQ for hot and sour soup, chicken with broccoli, beef stew and conversation.