Wednesday, June 18, 2008


I'm wagering you don't, but remember the pilot episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation (Encounter at Farpoint)? (Incidentally I remember its airing on September 28, 1987, me an eight-year-old thrilled even then by the swelling of the orchestra, by Patrick Stewart's voice and the tweaked language of the show's preamble. "Where no ONE has gone before?" What? Really? I could go into space, too?)

Anyway, in that episode (spoiler alert), it turns out that Farpoint, the space station at which they dock to pick up the Enterprise's crew, is actually a living organism that can shapeshift to provide visitors with their heart's desire (e.g., the ship's physician, Dr. Crusher (she's no Dr. Leonard "I'm a doctor, not an escalator" McCoy), is perusing silk in a shop and says she wishes there were more of a particular kind. She turns away, and when she turns back an entire bolt of the desired fabric has appeared.) Anyway (again), sometimes I'm struck by how much the world we live in mirrors, in fractal-like manner, the organisms we are. Which is pretty great, even if this waystation doesn't always give us what we desire. Or perhaps it does.

This tree persaveres in a razed lot on Union, between Frost and Richardson, still pulling memories, stories, sensations out of a synaptic sky.

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