Phaedra: The cover Natasha Snow designed for our story is so beautiful. It’s as if she captured what’s in my heart when I fly the Timea, what came to me when I thought of love.
Sokrat: It’s quite a cover, isn’t it? Reminds me of what I’m searching for, what I’m always searching for.
Phaedra: What are you searching for, Sokrat? I tried to explain it to Quartz, but I don’t think I succeeded. He says hi, by the way.
Sokrat: Tell him hi back. (She winks in a roguish way.) Don’t worry about trying to explain it. How could you when I’m still figuring it out myself?
Phaedra: You mean you yourself don’t know what you’re looking for?
Sokrat: Discovery is half the joy of finding something. Discovering new people, new ideas, and new questions.
Phaedra: That doesn’t explain much.
Sokrat: No, it doesn’t, does it? (She tugs a stray strand of white hair.) The answers keep changing, even as I change, for which I’m grateful. You wouldn’t want the universe to stay the same, would you?
Phaedra: I’m not sure. How can I say what I wish the universe to be, when I’m still discovering it?
Sokrat: (She grins.) Clever girl, you catch on quick. You’re well on the path to being a seeker of truth.
Phaedra: Here I thought I was just answering your question with a question.
Sokrat: That, too. The most honest answers are questions. Tell me, what do you see when you look at this cover? You said it captured what’s in your heart. What’s in your heart?
Phaedra: Space. Possibility. An odyssey through the stars to find myself.
Sokrat: I see an odyssey, too, one that takes us straight into the goddess’s mind, where each and every one of us finds ourselves.
Phaedra: Really? Which goddess?
Sokrat: Which goddess comes to to mind, when I say the word ‘goddess’?
Phaedra: Well, my first thought was of Aphrodite. We talk about her a lot in A Symposium in Space. It makes me think of the various aspects of her, the ones we usually associate with her, and the ones we forget. This could be Athena, though, since she’s the ancient Goddess of Wisdom. A journey into the mind might well involve her.
Sokrat: If that’s what you think, the goddess’s mind might well belong to Aphrodite, a very complex and multifaceted version of her. Your version of Aphrodite. Or it could be your version of Athena. Or both.
Sokrat: If that’s what you think.
Phaedra: It’s comforting to think that they might both be one, even if it’s also strange. Agathea’s image of Aphrodite is everywhere, on billboards, in parks, delivered to us in a million forms which are all the same. This is very different.
Sokrat: Agathea may own the image of Aphrodite, but she doesn’t own the goddess herself. No one can.
Phaedra: No one?
Sokrat: Can you own the stars?
Phaedra: Well, many have tried to.
Sokrat: I’m sure they’ll continue to try. Will they succeed, though?
Phaedra: You don’t think they can?
Sokrat: (She lays a finger against her nose and shakes her head ever so slightly before turning away from Phaedra.) Natasha, thank you. You’ve not only given us a beautiful cover for A Symposium in Space. You’ve given us food for thought.
Phaedra: Yes, thank you, Natasha! It truly is a spectacular cover. (She turns to see Sokrat leaving.) Wait, you never answered the question. You just shook your head. Does that mean you cannot own the stars?
Sokrat: I wouldn’t say that. You’ll always possess your own unique vision of them. (She allows her wrinkled lips to bend into an enigmatic smile.) Yet everyone else has their own vision which may differ from yours.
(Phaedra is left to ponder this while Sokrat strolls off.)