Friday, September 7, 2012

The Journey Home: To Seek Out New Worlds

Ah the optimism of desperation! Contrary to my last post, I still await; I have not reached home yet, and a myriad of oceans lie between my diminishing baggage and that house across the street I remember as mine in a previous life. If I sat down to catalogue all I have lost since almost a year ago, when my wish for a new kitchen began to get granted, I would be left with even less, not even my desperate optimism! Instead of counting losses (which are inevitable, no matter what journey one reads about), it might be more meaningful to acknowledge the lighthouses, perched on unreachable shores, on unassailable heights, that light up many darknesses.

One such lighthouse is celebrating its half century today, the television series, Star Trek. I know I have blogged about this previously. But today, I have been thinking about the theme of loss as a necessity in the discovery process.

Of late, and wherefore, (unlike the Prince) I do know, I have lost all my mirth, and my stories reflect this: I have been purging my darkness in stories the hue and, often, the texture of tar. My protagonists die to express losses I cannot express, catalogue, or even acknowledge. My lovers are left bereft, my houses haunt and devour, and my dusty-shady lands deny and bury. There remains an ageless, timeless part of me that questions all this dark matter splattered over my stories: am I (shudder, shudder) wallowing? Being lost myself, should I not, rather, write of self, home, love found? To what end all these tantrum tales?

However, my Trekkie self has quick answers: Dark Matter is dark not with absence but with a teeming presence, and that too, of a cosmic make up, the design and music of the Universe! I think of the various losses in I see in Star Trek series, and none of those losses is permanent, not even the deaths! Sometimes, what the crew thinks of as dead is merely their failure to recognize what is very much alive. Sometimes, they find the definition of Life in a Borg graveyard. The very basic, underlying premise of the Star Trek universe is that nothing gets destroyed; matter is forever changing, so what is lost still surrounds the crew and impels them onwards to whatever their mission is, diplomacy, exploration, holding peace at the edge of a stable worm hole, or the most archetypal of all, the way home.

If the expanse outside the window is not earth-bound, then why seek the achingly familiar? Perhaps, then, the losses are to be re-catalogued among the changed, and the mission, then, is to recognize, not reach. What is to be recognized, though? I cannot imagine the crew of the Enterprise or the Voyager without their ship anymore than I can imagine Deep Space 9 without its merchants, rogues, peace-keepers and idealists.

I went to my newly built, not-burnt house today, and it did not recognize me. My voice sounded hollow and my footsteps felt intrusive. The walls and their outlets watched me cautiously as I moved through the rooms, switching on unfamiliar lights, testing footholds and banisters. As in a dream or palimpsest, I remember the forgotten ease with which I had bounded among these spaces, unthinking in my familiarity of their exact shape and texture,  but these are not those walls or floors, even though they too, with me, occupy the same space.

For all captains of the star-ships of Star Trek, some of the most tenuous grounds are the ones on which they stand to encounter first contact with new species. My hope, after all these seasons of loss, is for the wisdom, the willingness, the gumption to begin a meaningful, mutually profitable dialogue that both, the Ferengis and the Vulcans would be proud of.

2 comments:

  1. If my memory serves me well, I think there was poster in 'Purva' - a lush green tree on an island with caption, Like a tree we all need a place to grow and branch out - or something to that effect. I did not understand it at that time but now, I understand it.... Though, it is too late.

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  2. I think it is not too late, and that you HAVE found that place! And you are right about that poster: it was on my wall and now, it has moved to Shamin near the microwave. so look for it the next tme you visit?

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