Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Live Long and Prosper

Yesterday was the thirteenth anniversary of our wedding -- happy anniversary to my dearest love. Lucky thirteen years!

We celebrated by going to the new Star Trek movie. I must preface this by saying that Scott had been helping his parents re-side the house on Saturday when his cousins dropped a piece of siding on his head. He went to an insta-care and ended up with three staples in his head and a tetanus booster. Apparently, he's having some odd side effects from the vaccination as he's been chilled to the bone since then. He's not feverish, but he has been bundled up like a sumo wrestler on ice. So, he was clothed in a dark sweater, dark pants, and a dark stocking cap (because his hair hasn't been washed in three days) and shivering, so I apparently spent my anniversary with a man who looked like he was a junkie in withdrawal. Classy, huh?

So this post should probably be one about my darling husband and the wonderful love we've had for each other through the years, but it's going to be about Star Trek instead. Not necessarily the new movie, though I did enjoy it as an action flick. But as in the iconography of Star Trek and how that has impacted my life thus far.

"Space... the final frontier..." Well, yes, this is true. But not a frontier that this person can fathom, nor enjoy exploring. I enjoy looking at the startling images brought back to us by the Hubble telescope, but the enormity of the universe frightens me and thinking about the distance involved in space travel sort of makes me feel like I'm drowning a bit, so space is not my likely frontier.

So what is? Where can I "boldly go where no man has gone before?" Aside from the rather obvious entendre, I get stuck on BOLDLY. I am not a bold person. I don't know that I ever have been bold. In fact, I think that I am rather introverted. I really don't like the telephone and my preferred method of communique is email. My handwriting really stinks and I'm a much better and more fluid typist than I ever expected to be. So I think the only bold you'll see from me goes with Crtl b.

The characters from the original Star Trek series are as familiar to me as my uncles. Star Trek was one of the shows (and later movie series) that my whole family would watch. If someone were to ask me "Star Trek" or "Star Wars," my easy answer is Trek. By a mile.

In college, Scott and I watched "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and "Deep Space Nine." In graduate school, it was "Star Trek: Voyager." I even went one Halloween as a Klingon. We used the music from the end credits of Star Trek 4 as our wedding recessional. I will admit that I've never seen en episode of "Enterprise." Life got too busy to make it appointment TV.

I did, however, realize that I am a Spock kinda girl, particularly after watching the updated movie. I have always found the journey that Spock goes on as a character to be the longest and most difficult. Sure, Kirk got all the glory, but, oddly enough, Spock had all the heart.

I think that, as a tween, I sort of saw my father in the rakish Kirk -- he'd talk about his escapades as a kid and I could see some of that "Oh, yeah? You wanna make me?" rebellion in him. He was a smart kid masquerading as an average student, a pioneer as an early baby boomer. I often wonder if he'd been just a bit more bold himself, if he wouldn't have run with the counterculture, ditching the security of his Iowa home for the romance of following Route 66. That maybe with a little nudge, he'd have stepped into another universe. With his sandy blonde hair and round baby face, it wasn't much of a stretch to imagine my dad as Captain James T. Kirk.

And yet, still Kirk was not my favorite. I think that as I was entering those formative teen years, the struggle and angst not unusual to a pubescent girl drew me towards the conflict Spock felt as an inter-species love child. The part of me that wanted to be so dang grown up and capable was the Vulcan, the little girl who was afraid of growing up, changing and becoming a person unto myself, then Earthling. As I said, the usual teen angst. That whole ego/id struggle, you know.

And then during my parents' divorce, my perspective changed -- about nearly everything. I began to see what I thought was silence and disconnect from my father as the Vulcan in him, bravely trying to hold the all-too-human in him back, to reign in the fear, loss, and yearning. Captain Kirk had lost his way, and Spock had come to find him. Never again have I regarded his slow intake of breath as disinterest -- I realize now that my father's love is so consuming that one drop over the dam would start a flood. That all of the times I was searching for a word of encouragement or display of pride, that all he could safely muster was a hug and a pat on the back -- to show more would betray his passion.

Thankfully, as Spock ages he finds no need to reign in the human influence over his heart -- and the same can be said for my father. Getting to know him as an adult has been one of the best things in my life. Perhaps this is the final frontier... knowing one's self. I think it might be mine and I think I want to go exploring, boldly or not.

And Scott? Well, I must admit that I did marry a Scottie -- he's got a solution for everything if you just give him a minute, his sense of humor flaps behind him like a superhero's cape, and he's never met a donut he couldn't refuse. Live long and prosper, my love!

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