dimarts, de novembre 21, 2023

stardate: the last best hope



Playing back the memory, he would slow down time, as if instructing the visuals to move at half speed, at quarter speed, and he would observe himself, sitting in his chair, and he would marvel at the sight of the man he has once been: calm, assured, fully in command of himself and all around him. This, he would think, was the moment before the storm began, the split second before the end of his old life, when he took the step down the path to here -the house that had never been the home, the land that he had long to swap for strange distant lands, the quiet , the immobility. The knowledge that nothing that he did now with his days mattered in the slightest. One more outcast, cast adrift. Prospero, on his island. An old conjurer, his magic spent, nursing old grievances.

Clouds flecked across the hillside. The vines hung heavily. The old clock ticked in the hall.Time yawned ahead: empty time. Picard, in limbo, pondered the past, and continued to fail to find answers there. Such were his mornings, his afternoons, his evenings. Such passed the days, for M. Jean-Luc Picard (formerly of Starfleet), the most disillusioned man in two quadrants.

He would find consolation in the reminder that all flesh was as grass, that in the end all our striving came to nothing, but in that grieve aching and vivid time that we call life, one must do all that was possible to protect, conserve, and nurture this phenomenon of life. Do all in one's power to help it flourish. Whether he was sufficient would be decided in time. For now -he would continue to bring relief to those in need.

"Promises are prisons, Elnor," she chided him. "Do not take the risk of walking blindly into a lie."

"Tell a lie often enough, someone will believe it."
"It's worse than that Kirsten. Tell a lie often enough, and it stands a good chance of becoming the truth."

"You are not responsible for the choices made by others," she had said. "To attribute to oneself that power is to assume that you have the right to compel others. And that is to deceive yourself. Do not lie to yourself that you could have done more than you did."