A Writer’s Mortality: The Undiscovered Country


I’ve seen two films twice each on opening day in my life. The first was “The Lost Boys” back in…well, not so long ago. The second, which was a little more recent, was “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.” Both have very warm places in my heart and I actually have a tradition that goes back to 1982 of watching Star Trek films while decorating the Christmas tree. It’s just what I’ve done. Well, up until 2009 when Ralph declared “I want to watch something else.”

“But,” I stammered, “I’ve been doing this for 27 years!”
“So?” He reasoned. “We’re watching something else.”

And we did…because he thinks he’s in charge. He wasn’t home this year when I decorated the tree, so I pulled the Blu-Rays out, started with “The Motion Picture,” uncharacteristically skipped to “The Voyage Home” and ended with “The Undiscovered Country.”

It struck me how after so many years together, the actors and the characters they played were still so incredibly relevant and a stitch in the fabric that is my life. It was their final adventure on the screen together and as the ship sailed towards the light at the end of the film, I actually felt genuine sorrow knowing there wouldn’t be any more. Their time had come and gone much like ours will.

Any legacy I leave behind will be remembered by the books I continue to write. It’s my fervent hope to one day leave readers with characters and adventures that will remain in their thoughts and that they’ll revisit them from time to time. That would be a lovely legacy, some proof that I was here and that someone found some amount of joy in.

Mentioning the cast of Star Trek feels all the more poignant to me because I’ve had the privilege of meeting most of the cast members throughout the years, including the late James Doohan. It’s easy to get all fanboy and sound fanboy, but I really have grown up watching these people on the small screen and then the large one. The roles were larger than life and the people behind them some of the loveliest human beings who truly appreciate what they’ve been given and worked for in life.

Some of them have passed away as have others I’ve watched throughout the years. It gets to you…it gets to me, especially because despite my age, I don’t feel old enough that they should be passing away.

So I’ve wondered, what will the end of my usefulness look like? Will I write a tale where my characters sail off towards the bright sky with hope still alive that their adventures will continue? I think that’s where I’d leave it. And perhaps another writer will feel inspired to pick up the reins and take us to more of the undiscovered countries out there waiting to be discovered.

“Second star to the right and straight on till morning.”



Shannon says:
January 18, 2011 at 12:34 am
It takes you more than six hours to decorate a Christmas tree?

Kage says:
January 18, 2011 at 12:57 am
You have no idea how many decorations I have to put on that tree…and how easily I get distracted when the films play.

Rudy says:
January 18, 2011 at 1:10 am
so you must have a varry large tree to be able to put all that on it and it must get bigger every year….i have often sed that life is like a StarTrek movie some one is always out to blow you right out of the stars and to see that i am right just makes it all the more sweet thanks Kage…..

amy says:
January 18, 2011 at 6:07 pm
I think it’s a lovely tradition, and I’m glad you got to savor it this past year. I completely agree that you and I shouldn’t be old enough to watch the people we love pass away, but if we set aside these rituals we make for ourselves that help remind us of the values we think important, then we lose sight of the values. I’m not sure that made sense. In other words, No More Non-Star-Trek Christmases! That’s an order!

Kage says:
January 18, 2011 at 9:25 pm
Do you remember the Trek film we saw together, Amy? lol

Pam says:
January 27, 2011 at 4:42 pm
Dang kiddo, wait til you get to my age. Every time I turn on the entertainment news someone else from my 20s and 30s has passed. That’s nothing compared to the obituaries I get from my HS class. I keep saying “They’re not that old” then another BD comes along and I go…oh, I guess they are. *sigh

Kristoffer Gair (who formerly wrote under the pseudonym Kage Alan) is the Detroit-based author of Honor Unbound, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To My Sexual Orientation, Andy Stevenson Vs. The Lord Of The Loins, Gaylias: Operation Thunderspell, several short stories featured in anthologies (to be combined in a forthcoming book), the novella Falling Awake (also to be re-published under his real name), and the upcoming Falling Awake II: Revenant.

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