In Leonard Nimoy’s final tweet, which he posted on Feb. 23, he wrote, “A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP.”
I’m going to miss Leonard Nimoy.
The role he played in Star Trek has stayed with me all of these years. Spock presented us with a being from the planet Vulcan — to humans it was truly an alien life form because it had learned the value of logic and reason over raw emotion.
Spock was half human, but didn’t have much use for his human side (nor did the Vulcans) because he didn’t believe in the useless outbursts or the expenditure of emotions that cloud every issue, every endeavor we humans undertake.
Think about the human side of Spock. That flawed part he constantly tried to suppress, the part that thought nothing of what it destroyed to achieve its goal. He had to constantly temper this annoying human trait with the Vulcan side, which understood only too well that humans want what they want, when they want it. And it’s usually right now. Yes, humans love, but look around you — greed usually trumps human love every time.
My favorite episode: THE DEVIL IN THE DARK: Captain James T. Kirk is sent to the pergium mining colony on the planet Janus VI to investigate reports of a strange creature which recently killed 50 miners with a strong corrosive substance.
A landing party consisting of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy beam down to meet with the mine personnel. An engineer describes having seen the monster (which looks like a huge, blobby spider. It’s pretty horrifying). This engineer says that he shot it with his phaser, which didn’t stop it, only wounded it.
Spock’s curiosity is aroused by a spherical object, one of thousands of silicon nodules found in recently opened mine levels. It has no commercial value, but it’s beautiful to look at, so there it sits on someone’s desk as an ornament.
Kirk orders McCoy to come and help the wounded creature while Spock mind-melds with the life form called Horta.
In his mind-meld, Spock endures the horrible pain and suffering of this being, not only from its wound, but its emotions. Spock discovers that every 50,000 years its entire race dies, except for one, who remains to protect the eggs and act as their mother. The miners have been destroying these eggs (Remember. One sits on someone’s desk). Horta gains enough knowledge from the mind-meld to etch these words on stone :
I remember watching that episode, and I still think of it often. That I, along with the fictional character Spock, felt the unbearable suffering and pain of not only the Horta, but other living beings across our planet. Fiction can be truth.
What is it about we humans?
Whether it’s the fictional mineral pergium on Janus VI, a far away planet, or ivory on Planet Earth. Does it matter? We kill entire species, we kill Earth’s wildlife for the silliest of reasons. We kill elephants because we like to wear ivory trinkets, or parade around in a leopard coat, walk on a tiger skin rug. And the rhinos? We murder them for their horns so we can grind them into powder. For impotence! Heck, what’s the matter with Viagra. Do we have to kill wildlife for an erection?
It’s that kind of shoot-ourselves-in-the-foot stupidity, all of those kinds of petty human feelings that Spock had to constantly fight within himself.
We couldn’t help but love Spock because he mirrored our everyday internal struggle to balance compassion against greed, awareness against ignorance, hatred against understanding, love against fear.
And our Earthling, Leonard Nimoy: actor, writer, singer, producer, director, poet, photographer, exceptional human? He was able to show us that if a conflicted Spock could learn to balance reason with emotion, then so can we.
RIP Leonard Nimoy, let us hope your ideals, both on screen and off, will live long and prosper.
The Organ Harvesters (Assent Publishing) Winner! The 2014 Stellar Sci-fi Contest For Science Fiction Dystopian Novel.
A damning evaluation of a system that had put technological advancements ahead of human rights, and protection of the environment.
“Must-Read Dystopian Thriller.”