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There’s an episode of STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION called “The Inner Light” (Season 5 Episode 25) in which the Enterprise discovers a strange alien probe. The probe knocks Picard unconscious, and while the crew struggles to revive him, Picard’s consciousness is transported to that of an alien world, where he inhabits one of its people’s bodies, QUANTUM LEAP-style. While there, he learns the people’s customs and basically ends up living an entire, meaningful lifetime in this world that was so unfamiliar to him not too long ago. But the alien species is dying; their planet’s environment is on the fritz. As Picard’s inhabited body is approaching the end of his life, we find out that the alien race will launch a probe into space, a means of carrying on the species’ memory as they face extinction. And turns out, it was Picard (the original one) who was chosen for this task. He awakes on the Enterprise to discover only 20 minutes have passed in the real world.
Sometimes it feels like a lifetime can pass in the blink of an eye. That’s what this week felt like to me, as though I have experienced enough emotion and learning and intensity to last me for a long, long while. In situations like these, I am overwhelmed to the point of exhaustion. I can only hope to make use of the lessons that I’ve learned, remember fondly those things that I’ve experienced, and honor those that have inspired me.
P.S. Damn, that was a good episode of Star Trek.