Put a Little Love in Yours!
I was ready to get on a plane in Portland, Oregon yesterday morning when I read this. I didn’t have time to absorb before I was embroiled in a cross-country marathon journey with my family.
Today, there’s only one topic for me to write about…
Okay, I haven’t been here for a while, and it feels a little weird to be here now. But my vacation is over, and I’ve been back in upstate New York for about 24 hours now. A chunk of my unpacking is done, and, in a very mellow way befitting my state of mind and the lassitude of a three-hour time shift after a day of travel, I’m catching up on some writerly things that were set aside while I enjoyed some quality time with family and friends.
This is likely to be a scattered bit of writing. I’m full of thoughts and emotions that don’t translate so well into language. Oceans and tides are moving within me, swelling and ebbing. I’m simply allowing them to flow, and I’ll do the same with these words.
I feel I’ve lost a friend today. No. It’s more than a feeling. I have lost a friend.
Maybe we all have, even if we don’t know it.
Let me go back a bit…
Back to when I was just a little girl. I’m in my bedroom. The odds are enormous that I’m reading. It’s about 1976 or so, and there is one TV in our house – a 19″ console model that resides in our living room. We get four channels: ABC, NBC, CBS, and PBS. My parents control what we watch and when.
I hear a familiar voice from the living room, and I go as fast as I can to the love seat, where I love to curl up to watch. The voice has pulled me, and my mother laughs at me.
“I’m Leonard Nimoy, and this is In Search Of…”
Those might not be the actual words he spoke, that serious man with the deep, soothing voice. It doesn’t matter. He opened windows and doors to other places, times, and ways of being. He added riddles to my life.
He made it OK to think about things, to wonder, to fantasize.
I was only mildly aware that that man was an actor, or that he’d played a half-alien named Spock. This was the mid-seventies, after all, and Trekkies were much more underground. My parents didn’t like Star Trek – and we didn’t watch shows they didn’t like. There was no Internet, no cable in our home, no TiVo or even video tapes.
I was thirteen before I really became aware of him in that other role, and he opened up my life in new and profound ways.
I’ve never been the same. Spock entered, and acted as a catalyst. I’m not who I would have been, without the Vulcans.
And the Vulcans wouldn’t be who they are without Leonard.
They might have been a joke, or a token alien species without life or depth. It was the integrity that very first Vulcan gave to his adopted and assumed paternal lineage that offered territory worth exploring and expanding.
If you’ve read here before, you probably noticed that I kind of have a rather intense fascination with Vulcans. It might look, at times, like a fangirl crush – and to some extent it is.
But, like the tiny shift in the light in a Vulcan’s eyes, it’s far more profound than what can be seen on the surface.
For over three decades, Spock has shaped my life. In the last two years, T’Pol has come to do her part. But she couldn’t exist as she does, without her predecessor.
And Leonard made him real – for me, for others, for us all. He took Spock and Vulcanness seriously, and that gave them the ability to become something far more than what they might have been. And that, in turn, gave me the ability to become something far more than I might have been.
That’s something that friends do.
Through Spock, and In Search Of…, I came to see the world and myself as a diverse wonderland. I’ve come to see learning and knowing and imagining as valuable uses of time. I’ve absorbed something of gentleness and kindness, of passion and acceptance of others. These things weren’t part of my daily life as a child. It was Spock – and Leonard – who gave them to me.
Farewell, my friend I never met. You lived well, and with a certain quiet dignity layered over deep passions. You lived in a way I think a certain Vulcan would approve of.
I will miss you, and knowing you’re alive somewhere in the same world I live in. I will always be grateful that, for a time, we shared this world, and that you offered your gifts and your vision to us.
And I will remember.
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