“try to show up somewhere”

Jose was in town for graduation. Yes, that’s Dr. Jose.
Several folk did, in fact, gather in his honor. Stories were told, memories recounted, teasing ensued, plans were postulated…
I learned of the first event by hook & by crook, via the grapevine – altering my departure date just so I could see The Man himself. (Actually, I confess, it was a relief to have the extra few days to get myself and the apartment more ready for what’s to come.) After receiving my replacement phone, I discovered that he had called, with few specific details and cryptic instructions. Is this what collaboration is going to be like?!?
Meanwhile, I’ve just finished re-reading Dawn, by Octavia E. Butler. “The twilight before sunrise” seems an apt metaphor for my lifephase.
Humanity, having destroyed earth in a nuclear holocaust, is rescued by an alien species whose life purpose is to acquire and trade genetic material – constantly and consciously morphing into new species. Humans are a fascination to the Oankali because we have “two incompatible characteristics… [Lilith asks] what are they?”

Jdahya made a rustling noise that could have been a sigh, but that did not seem to come from his mouth or throat. “You are intelligent,” he said. “That’s the newer of the two characteristics, and the one you might have to put to work to save yourselves. You are potentially one of the most intelligent species we’ve found, though your focus is different from ours. Still, you’ve a good start in the life sciences, and even in genetics.”
“What’s the second characteristic?”
“You are hierarchical. That’s the older and more entrenched characteristic. We saw it in your closest animal relatives and in your most distant ones. It’s a terrestrial characteristic. When human intelligence served it instead of guiding it, when human intelligence did not even acknowledge it as a problem, but took pride in it or did not notice it at all . . .” The rattling sounded again. “That was like ignoring cancer. I think your people did not realize what a dangerous thing they were doing.” (p. 39, Lilith’s Brood)

Book Two: Adulthood Rites
Book Three: Imago

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