Leonard Nemoy: Tour Guide to the Final Frontier
"It's all about trying to make the world and the universe a better place. I'm proud to be connected with it. I think we need that in our lives. We need ethical, heroic people trying to do the right thing to help others and to improve life on this planet and in the universe."-Leonard Nemoy
I know we are in the middle of a 10 part series but I feel the death of an icon warrants a pause in the momentum.
I have to admit, I am new to the Spock bandwagon. I grew up on Broadway musicals and a possibly unhealthy healthy dose of Neil Diamond. Don't get me wrong, my nerd flag flew high from a young age. I was a mathlete, a thespian and drum major of the Junior High marching band, but now, at 33, I have had my first introduction to Star Trek and I have to admit, I am hooked. Leonard Nemoy, where have you been all my life? I miss you now before I've even had the chance to know you.
- I see an scientist that showed us to gather concrete evidence, to look beyond the labels and assumptions and see through to the true nature of the people and world around us.
- I see an intellect who learned to embrace both sides of the emotion and reasoning spectrum.
- I see an outsider who carved out his own place within the world. Who, in his sincerity about who he truly is, came to find true relationships with others that supported and improved himself and others.
- I see a teammate who, though he had his own limitations, found it within himself to offer his strengths to a team of individuals who celebrated all that each had to offer and achieved more for it.
- I see a fighter who brought all he had to the table in order to further mankind and improve himself - even when it wasn't easy or convenient ... or even sometimes logical.
- I see a man that is the representation of overcoming "nature" for a chosen path of "nuture", looking past prescribed notions of who we are supposed to be and delving into a deeper, more true awareness of the vast innate possibilities.
All of those are Spock characteristics. And course the argument can be made that Leonard was just the actor reading the scripts and repeating the lines. But there's more to it than that. Hand in hand with very few others, this man was a cornerstone at the heart of a movement. He was part of a mentality that allows so many people to connect on a real level - regardless of how popular or normal, to expand definitions to reality and not the other way around.
All of this is not simply a result of the words of various writers, Nemoy himself embodied all of these things. He earned an MA in education, and two honorary doctorates for his work in Holocaust education, the arts and the environment. He served in the Army Reserve and he was an actor, a writer (he wrote 2 autobiographies), a director and an actor again. Trying his hand at a variety of pursuits, he never let the fear of failure stop him from trying something new, expanding his horizons and learning something from all of it. While he struggled for a time about how enmeshed his public image was with that of Spock, he came to the realization that, just like the 2 sides to the Vulcan/Human, Nemoy himself had some Spock in him and appreciating this facet offered valuable perspective.
Nemoy was likely a zombie before (as it fits into this ongoing series) in that he seemed to have questioned and soberly examined life, the universe and our place within it. But now, as we pause to honor a legend, we come face to face with the fact that he is now a legitimate zombie - though his body is gone, Leonard Nemoy lives on in a different form within the movement he inspired.
Actor and blogger Wil Wheaton (a more legit trekkie than I, being that he played Wesley Crusher in The Next Generation Series) remembered Nemoy as well and says it better than I ever could:
"I identified with Spock because he was weird, and cerebral, and he was different from everyone else. He was just like me, but the things that made me a target of ridicule on the playground made him a valuable and vital member of his ship’s crew. In ways that I couldn’t articulate at the time, I wanted to be Mister Spock because if I was, I could be myself –quiet, bookish, alien to the people around me — and it wouldn’t be weird. It would be awesome. (...) Thank you, Leonard, for making it okay to be me, and for making it possible for me to explore brave new worlds, and boldly go where you had gone before. Rest in peace, sir."
Thank you on my part for what you gave all of us Mr. Nemoy; in Spock and in yourself. We are better for it and hope to continue the exploration of unknown frontiers and to live longer and prosper because of it.
Even in our every day, we explore the the final frontier within ourselves. These are our voyages and thanks to Leonard Nemoy, we are all more equipped to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.
*A sincere goodbye tweeted from astronaut Terry W. Virts from the International Space Station
https://twitter.com/AstroTerry/status/571700996360970241/photo/1 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonard_Nimoy http://wilwheaton.net/2015/02/remembering-leonard-nimoy/ http://subversify.com/2015/02/28/the-boundless-frontier-of-leonard-nimoy/