Today I learned about the death of Leonard Nimoy.
To many people Nimoy is the icon behind Spock, perhaps the most revered character in all of the vast array of Star Trek cannon. With that seemingly simple role, a pointy-eared alien on an unlikely spaceship, he created something epic and grand. With only a few short episodes he not only inhabited the character of Spock but created the mannerisms of an entire race that dozens of actors would attempt to imitate.
If Nimoy had done only that it would be enough. He had a complicated relationship with Spock and his fans over the years, writing a book in 1975 titled “I am not Spock.” Twenty years later he came to terms with his own fame and wrote a followup, “I am Spock.” By the end of his life he had completely embraced the contribution that his character made to so many growing and learning people and even took to signing messages with LLAP (Live Long and Prosper).
I always admired the character of Spock. As a boy I was inspired by his somber attitude — being introverted and uncomfortable with people I related to his unemotional and logical attitude. He was the outcast on the show and he was awesome. I grew up wanting to be Spock. It was Spock’s lack of emotion that I tried to model as a teenager. It was Spock’s reliance on science and logic that fueled my desire to pursue science and engineering as a career.
Bus that’s not all.
Nimoy was an artist. He wrote and directed more than one of the Star Trek films — most notably “The Voyage Home,” probably the funniest and most light-hearted Star Trek. He sang, and, though it was better than Shatner’s spoken-song style of turning pop music into poetry night readings, it never quite took off. He was also a poet, crafting poems nearly up until the day he died.
A few days before his death he left the world with the lines: “A life is a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory.”
And finally he was a photographer and created some stunning and baffling artistic photography that will probably never be as famous as his most well-known character.
Nimoy was a man who lived in the world, and changed the world. He brought art and beauty and light to a lot of places. He was, in a word, extraordinary with all the extra that can be applied.
My world is darker now.