More Prized than Gold
The presence of an alien substance or being is unsettling. It disturbs the known and the real and leaves question of intent as well as essence. The way in which it present itself becomes a pressing matter. Does it serve as an initial clue or an attempt to deceit, if we detect a familiarity? Can we ever know or clarify immersion or adaptation from that of camouflage? What if it is a question of harvesting an essence or becomming with it, rather than that of a pure imitation.
Speculating on alien beings immersed in the forest took this form and raised these questions. Imagining and questing where they came from and why they are here. Can they teach us something? About ourselves, about or earth, our values and our survival.
Speculative imaginations enable us to throw new light on our present moment and conceive of other futures and ways of being. In her novel The Word for World Is Forest Ursula K. Le Guin writes: "But men were here now to end the darkness, and turn the tree-jumble into clean sawn planks, more prized on Earth than gold. Literally, because gold could be got from seawater and from under the Antarctic ice, but wood could not; wood came only from trees. And it was a really necessary luxury on Earth. So the alien forests became wood."
Speculating with Le Guin, we may discover that our most prized matter in fact lies in the tree-jumble – in keeping the forest alien. Maybe that is what these other aliens are here to remind us.