Watching out the portal as we accelerated toward the speed of light, everything — every thing — began to stretch, elongate. Nearby objects, the Earth, the moon, were first. From round, to oblong, to ovular, to a long rope, to a thread, extending on and on and on and on into the infinite. And as we travelled, I am told, every star and every planet we passed was added to the array of lines which spread wider and wider apart as they approached, but lead of into an infinite unknown.
Einstein once wondered what it would be like to ride a light beam. Well, Albert, my friend, it’s a beautiful thing.
All the portals on the passenger deck were equipped with a special sort of polarizing filter. Turning it removed some of the streaks. As we passed more and more objects, the streaks became more and more numerous, until they began to meld together into a singularity of white light encompassing the ship. Adjusting the filter would remove all the streaks which didn’t line up with the polarizer’s axis. This created some stupendously beautiful and colourful arrays of light. I was fascinated, and kept flipping through the filter settings, nearly addicted to the shifting colours and orientation of light streaks.
There was this green one, where all the streaks lined up in a vertical wall. It reminded me in an unexpected way of a photograph I’d shot of a palm frond while vacationing on Grand Cayman Island. I’d thought I’d never see anything more beautiful than that place. And then I boarded this ship, bound for the center of the galaxy.