I have been surprisingly weepy since learning of Leonard Nimoy’s death.
The first notice I got was a text from my son: 😦
Then I looked at Twitter. And have been looking at the Internet & clicking on links off and on since them.
So. Many. Feels. And I’m surprised by this.
Although, digging in to it, I guess it’s really not that surprising.
I was born in December 1966, so there has never been a day in my life that Star Trek and Spock (and Kirk, Scotty, Bones, Uhuru, Sulu, Chekov, Nurse Chapel, etc.) have not existed. Of course, by the time I was old enough to watch it, it was already in syndication. I honestly don’t know when I first saw it, but I have memories of specific episodes that feel very old, as in I was a child when I watched them. Plus, there were some boys in elementary school – first, second, or third grade — who liked to chase girls (me) and use the Vulcan nerve pinch on us (me). I’m thinking of you, Clinton. ಠ_ಠ
We didn’t have a TV from the time I was 8 until I was 16, so I missed a lot. Anything I saw was piecemeal at friends, at grandparents. But still Star Trek was there. And I have since seen every episode of every series (except animated) and all of the movies — and all more than once. One of my brothers even had a Tribble toy at one point. I have enjoyed each and every piece of the Star Trek universe as each new addition plays clear homage to what has come before. And I’m sure I will enjoy what comes next, hoping and dreaming that someday our reality will catch up with the vision…
But back to Spock. Who was alien. But not. Intelligent but somewhat awkward when it came to interpersonal relationships. Who clearly felt things deeply but worked hard to keep those feelings under control and hidden. Who valued reason and logic and responsibility and honesty and loyalty and was fascinated by the universe around him — the people, places, and things.
Other than the facts that I was a young female and he was a grown male, I could relate to, sympathize and empathize with Spock. That was me I saw on TV. I knew what it was like to feel that I wasn’t really part of the group, to not understand why people were saying and doing certain things. Why they needed to pick on me. But, like Spock, I could react with cool detachment and move on.
I’m not so different today, just more aware and accepting of my differentness — and of others.
I was never going to be the daring and dashing Captain Kirk. But I could be Spock — equally heroic in his own reserved way.
And now, while Spock will live on, the amazing man who made him so real for so many of us is gone. It leaves a hole, an emptiness.
I wish I could say I was familiar with all Leonard Nimoy’s work, but until the past few days I didn’t know just how much he’d done — TV, movies, stage, acting, directing, singing, writing, poetry, photography… I knew about Fringe and thrilled to see him as William Bell. And his distinctive voice on The Big Bang Theory. I have lots to go look for and watch…
And beyond all the above, he was clearly a wonderful and caring human being.
As Spock or as himself, Leonard Nimoy is and always shall be an inspiration for me.
Live Long and Prosper, and Boldly Go.