I’d like to open my post by taking a moment to remember the late actor, poet, film director, photographer, singer and songwriter, Leonard Nimoy.
Much has already been written concerning the icon who played Mr Spock, and I’m sure there will be plenty more to follow in the wake of the sad news of Mr Nimoy’s passing on 27th February 2015. The purpose of writing these too few words isn’t to cover his legendary, generation spanning, and well documented acting career as Mr Spock; nor is it my intention to cover any of the events which marked Leonard‘s full and remarkable life. I would, however, like to use my inadequate ramblings to discuss the impact that the loss of another legendary figure made to me personally.
I never had the pleasure of knowing Leonard personally and, to be fair, knew little about the actor who played Mr Spock beyond reading an occasional media tribute to his talent and compassion. Although I’ve enjoyed many a Star Trek episode and film over the years, I wouldn’t class myself as a Trekkie as I’ve followed Star Trek intermittently over the years, throughout all of its various incarnations, but the fondest memories I have by far are those of Mr Spock, James T Kirk and the crew of the USS Enterprise speeding across the galaxy at warp factor 9 as they leapt from one adventure to the next. The social issues of the time that the original Star Trek took to broadsiding with photon torpedoes were beyond my ken as a wide-eyed pre-teen, though I rapidly took to sharing the highs and lows of all the characters. I still shudder when I think of the mind-controlling worms administered by Khan, or the shock and sadness I felt at the end of the same film following the death of Spock.
Reading of Leonard Nimoy‘s passing moved me profoundly, so much so that I undertook some self analysis following a simple and insightful comment from fellow blogger, roleplaying guru, UKGMN member and scribe, Bill Heron. At only two other times has the passing of an icon moved me so deeply, left me feeling genuinely sad and brought tears to my eyes: the unexpected and tragic passing of Princess Diana, and the equally momentous death of Michael Jackson. I’d like to again state that I didn’t know either of them personally, and that it’s not my intention to use this blog as a discussion platform for any aspect of their lives. I would, however, like to take the opportunity to discuss the effect that their sad loss of life had on me, and hopefully pay fitting tribute to their memory.
I believe, following much personal reflection and introspection, that I have been moved on such an individual level at these times not only because of the sad loss of such global idols, but also because I keenly felt the loss of a profound link to happier memories of my childhood. I fondly remember the street parties and community spirit brought about by many of the events that were part of Diana‘s early life as a royal. I’m positive we still have some old, grainy snapshots of streets bedecked in bunting hiding somewhere. Michael Jackson was pushing boundaries as a solo artist around the time that my young ear drums began to really take notice of music, which also happened to coincide with my decision to leave the birdie song and Agadoo were they rightfully belonged: consigned to the dingy depths of my local youth centre. Michael Jackson was there for me at the start of my musical growth, and performed a role at the time similar to that which 1D now play a part in with my twin daughters. I’m pretty sure I was one of the first in the queue for MJ’s Moonwalker production during its first UK cinema release.
Leonard Nimoy as Mr Spock, along with the USS Enterprise and her crew, always brought our family together for their weekly sojourns across the galaxy. I fondly remember the gunslinger style eyebrow battles I would have with my mum, while the original Star Trek series and all of the spin-offs that followed provided a platform for my father and I to indulge in our escapism. The boundaries they pushed also gave us numerous starting points for discussions that soon wandered, as they so often do, through a myriad of subjects; which in turn allowed us to get to know each other that little bit more, particularly as I grew into that strange little creature called ‘a teenager’. The loss of people so intrinsically linked to these lasting memories of my childhood is, I believe, why I have taken their deaths so personally. A part of my childhood left and moved on.
Leonard Nimoy made a very poignant tweet shortly before his death: A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP.
Thank you, Leonard, for those perfect moments that are enshrined in my memories, and for enriching my garden.
Additional: I have discovered since beginning to construct this hopefully fitting tribute to Mr Nimoy that Mr Pratchett has now also passed on. I was introduced to Terry Pratchett‘s fantastical writings by my father in my early teens and have, on many occasions, actually laughed aloud whilst reading his ingenious literary works, often to the bemusement of those around me. Thank you also for the memories Terry, and for sharing your wonderful, disc-shaped, elephant and turtle-borne vision with us. I shall leave you with a fitting tribute, again from Bill Heron:
Somewhere in a dusty and forgotten library in a backwater part of the universe an orangutan knuckles his way among the shelves carrying a pile of books. He dusts them and places them on a shelf. ‘Ook,’ he says, a phrase heavy with meaning. He sadly turns to head back to his own reality, then stops. He places a banana beside the hourglass, watchman’s helmet and the two pointed hats. RIP Terry Pratchett.
(Un?)Necessary Disclaimer: I can take no responsibility for any of the links highlighted in this post. Where possible, I have provided a link to an artists’s official page or a company’s official site. Where this hasn’t been possible, I have provided a link to the relevant Wikipedia page. The links provided are used at your own risk. The Spock and Pratchett art are copyright of their original owners, and only reproduced here to form part of the tribute to two icons that this post is intended to be.