Musings on the Path: Star Trek, Tactile Life, & Animals

This morning was one of those ‘golden moments’ where everything was exactly right. The air was cool and wet and light, the atmosphere was something that existed as you walked through it, birds chirped and insects buzzed with perfect clarity, and the green life of the trees and the plants that surrounded me was a pulsing, living thing that I could feel intersecting and connecting the entire world. Oh yeah, one of those mornings. Brilliantly backlit by Pink Floyd, the fact of my existence was a miracle and I felt calm and buoyant on my feet, mixed in with a little silliness bordering on joy. Fuckin a, do I love nature.


Randomly, a really fantastic scene from the new Star Trek movie popped into my head and made me laugh right out loud. If you’re a fan of the new series of Star Trek movies, I absolutely recommend this one. The scenery is gorgeous, all the small details of the plant and animal life is given such loving attention that you can feel the alien-ness of it all while still recognizing its integral nature within its environment. I carried my Chekhov button with me (I can do zat!) in a tiny homage to Anton Yeltsin, who died in such a weird and wasteful way and it sort of broke my heart a little; that kid was really great in every film I saw him in, so he was one of those people whose names make you happy every time you see them pop up in the opening credits. Anyhoodle, it’s also a really great story, very plot driven, and funny as hell.


I have a tendency in my walkabouts to splay my hands on big, cool looking trees. There is something so powerful about looking at a tree trunk that is so big around that it would take two of you to encircle it, to feel the roots delving underneath your feet, to tilt your head back and look up and up and up, gnarly limbs extending towards the clouds and leaves dappling everything with odd shadows. It struck me this morning that there are a lot of things in life that forward progress is robbing of tactile nature. Now, I am neither a technophobe nor a technophile (since auto-correct doesn’t say this is not a word, I will count my guess lucky); I own smart TV’s and smart phones and a laptop, and I use them frequently for social media and cat videos. However, I cannot help but feel sadness for the people who lost out on the nature of life before the internet and instant almost everything. There is a huge difference between pulling an LP out of a sleeve and fitting the needle into the groove, or trying to rewind a cassette tape to the exact spot you’re looking for, that satisfying click every time you hit a button, and silently typing your choice into Rhapsody or clicking next on Pandora. Or books. Using the card catalog to find what you need at the library, running your fingers across the wall of spines as you locate your X marks the spot, the crinkle of opening a new book or the cracking of an old binding, the smell, GOOD LORD THE GLORIOUS SMELL OF BOOKS. It is sad to me that there is now a chasm between every day life and its tactile nature, a disconnect between the things that bring us joy like music and words.


Finally, I am always grateful when cool animals hang out with me during my walks. Today I felt like freakin Snow White, man, every time I turned around there was an animal that normally doesn’t chill out super close to humans right by me. Raccoons, chipmunks, an adorably huge eyed bunny that looked as if it hopped right out of an animated kids movie, and a super great blue heron that somehow managed to combine grace and gawkiness as it slowly high-stepped away from me, searching out tasty bugs to snatch out of the water before opening it’s awesome wing span wide and gliding away over the top of the water.


Today is a good day. I’m still listening to Pink Floyd.

Categories: Non-Fiction Nonsense | Tags: | Leave a comment

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