Exhibit A: Captain Kirk faces God in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
I live my life as if on stage. It’s not a fault, and it’s not bad. But it’s not helpful, since my credo is to live truth (bugger off, inner critic). I catch a glimpse of myself sometimes, and I see an actress, someone just above the surface of emotions, pretending to be real. Honestly, I don’t hate myself for it, because I see where it came from, and how wired into me it is. I’m a survivor. It’s part of how I survived. It’s a survival act.
How much of my day to day is a survivor act? It recently occurred to me that I’d like to meet the real me. How many layers would I have to peel off to get to the simply-clad real, the Blue who looks at the world without all the exhausting, painful muscle tension, the physical manifestation of inner guardedness? What would I look like without the security-attachment to pain and injury, without false bravado and put-on superiority?
When I think about that simply real Blue, I have an image. It’s me with layers taken off me. I’m dressed in earth tones, simple natural fabric, on the slightly feminine side of androgynous. Haircut doesn’t even register. The rings made for me by my friend Diane clink against my wedding ring. I’m not smiling or frowning. There’s no clenching of muscles, no protective muscular shell around my heart. I’m sitting cross legged, hands folded in my lap. I’m looking back at me. It’s an invitation, in that simple, uncomplicated gaze. Do I want to strip down the layers I’ve built up, the things that have made me “interesting”, the leather, the hair dye, the personality traits I’ve built onto myself, the survival act? Is that all really survival act, or are there in those years of layers any real valid colors on my palette of self?
I’m not throwing away the hair dye. But I think I’ll go buy a hemp outfit.
So why the weird, unrelated title and photo? Underneath the urban dyke trappings I am actually a five-star geek. These thoughts reminded me of Star Trek V, in which Spock’s half brother Sybok (ohmygodI’mageek) goes around revealing to people their deepest trauma, thereby taking away their pain, stripping them of their superficial layers and returning them to their truest nature. (Somehow, by doing this, he is able to then control their minds to carry out his insane plan to meet God at the center of the universe, who turns out to be a big fake, but I digress.) So he does it to all the crew, until only Captain Kirk is left. Kirk refuses to have his pain removed from him. I can’t remember the quote (OK, I’m not that big a geek), but basically he refuses because his pain is HIS. It makes him who he is, Captain James T. Kirk, faults and all.
I love that man.