This morning (Friday), like billions of humans around the globe, I learned of Leonard Nimoy’s passing, and – it was like being punched in the gut. Noooooooo! Not Spock! This isn’t the way it’s supposed to be! Spock is supposed to outlive us all!
Then, as the news spread – circulating through news outlets and shared posts on the internet, I watched (and – participated in, myself), something extraordinary. People changing their profile pictures, updating their cover photos, writing memoriams and passing-on stories and experiences that they had had because of this man, and the character that he so elegantly – indeed, passionately – portrayed for nigh on 50 years.
Even President Obama weighed-in with an official statement: “Long before being nerdy was cool, there was Leonard Nimoy. Leonard was a lifelong lover of the arts and humanities, a supporter of the sciences, generous with his talent and his time. And of course, Leonard was Spock. Cool, logical, big-eared and level-headed, the center of Star Trek’s optimistic, inclusive vision of humanity’s future. I loved Spock…”
Ironically, the character Leonard played (so well) was a Vulcan – he, being of an alien species who don’t show their emotions; well…except on those rare occasions when he was possessed, or under the influence of Pon-Farr, or – maybe, after an extraordinarily profound encounter with something bigger than even he, himself, could fathom.
Even then, Spock would get up, shrug it off and go on being the logical, no-nonsense officer and gentleman he was expected to be.
Tomorrow, maybe we will do the same; we’ll grieve for thee, shake it off and go about our lives…maybe. But, the impact this character has had on our lives, our culture, our very existence, well…that’s going to stay with us for a long, long time.
My first remembrance of this iconic character, Spock, was on a Saturday morning cartoon. He wasn’t even the ‘real’ thing! Yet – he, and Kirk and McCoy, had a profound and lasting impression on this 8-year-old, one that is still with me, today. I didn’t know it [then], (indeed, wouldn’t realize it for another 36 years), but Leonard’s portrayal of Spock would change the course of my life. Because of Spock, I know there are always possibilities.
Spock’s been dead before, but today, we honor and remember this iconic figure; and we celebrate the life and achievements of the man, himself, (his art, poetry, music, teachings, his television, stage and theatrical legacies, his humanity); as we mourn Leonard’s passing, we pay homage to this legend who brought Spock to life, and – into the hearts of billions, irrecovably changing us as a whole. Today, the deeds of the one, far-outweigh the needs of the many.
On this solemn day, we are allowed to show our emotions; but – as Spock would ask: “Is it logical?”
I’d like to thank Pat Carbajal, for allowing me to use his spectacular art; his personal tribute to Leonard Nimoy and Spock
Lt. Eric Cone