28 February, L A.S.
Goodbye, Leonard Nimoy
I’ve been a Star Trek fan since my dad introduced me to the original series when I was very young. It’s a show that represents an optimistic view of human progress and the future, and that reminds us to keep our eyes and minds open to the possibilities of great leaps in exploration, science, and imagination. To be brave, and to boldly go.
Mr. Spock is a great character, who was portrayed by a great actor and man. I was saddened yesterday to hear of Mr. Nimoy’s death.
Below, Magus Peter H. Gilmore expresses my thoughts on the matter better than I could myself:
Here was a man who lived life to the fullest—actor, director, poet, photographer, author, and teacher. He actively explored his talents and made our lives richer through his creativity. Uniquely, playing the role of Mr. Spock and breathing life into the fascinatingly logical character devised by Gene Roddenberry, Nimoy brought forth a new and resonant archetype that remained a focal point of the television series and films comprising STAR TREK, boldly moving beyond that fictional universe into our culture.
His Vulcan-Human hybrid being was meant to have a devilish mien—the original plan even had red skin to accompany the pointed ears and eyebrows that was swapped for a touch of green when camera tests were not successful. This role embodied an intriguing paradox, offering a personage of alien ancestry from an advanced culture whose savagery and self-destructiveness was only tamed via the discipline of logic and restriction of emotion. From Spock’s mother came the challenge of untrammeled human emotions that at times were shown to surge forth in defiance of his rational strictures, often in ways that proved even to him that perhaps a better balance needed to be sought. It was his ongoing journey, an inner odyssey towards self-mastery that went in tandem with the Enterprise’s trek to where no one had gone before.
With consummate skill, wisdom and humor, Nimoy portrayed the lone partial alien as First Officer of the ship’s crew, a poised outsider who, through observation of his comrades, thus offered fresh perspective on what it meant to be human—the aspect of his self that needed to be acknowledged and integrated. His brash but equally brilliant commander, Captain James T. Kirk, and the ever irascible curmudgeon, ship’s surgeon Dr. Leonard McCoy, proved delightful foils which throughout the series brought insight into the bonds of friendship that shall remain deeply touching to any who take the voyage with them into the final frontier.
The New York Times has a detailed obituary enumerating Nimoy’s many varied achievements, and a more personal response may be found here on The Collinsport Historical Society blog by Patrick McCray.
While Nimoy at times in his long career resisted his identification with Spock, he came to embrace that destined melding and felt that supporting the fundamental Vulcan philosophy of “Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations” was a worthy endeavor. And there can be no more Satanic a hailing of the fellow consciousnesses whom one respects than “Live long and prosper.” Leonard Nimoy certainly did that, and touched and inspired many of us in the course of his eventful journey. We are better beings for that.