Leonard Simon Nimoy Z”L
I woke today and checked the overnight news to read that Leonard Nimoy had died. While he had a long and varied career, he made his earliest impression on me through his role as Spock in Star Trek. Now I freely admit that I have been a Star Trek fan from day one, so the news saddened me. But thinking of Mr Nimoy, aka Mr Spock, also brought many more warm memories.
The TV series only ran three seasons, but that was enough to make me a fan. So much so, that I named one on my cats Leonard after him: not surprisingly, a slightly aloof Siamese with absolutely enormous ears.
While many people will only identify him with his character Spock, he was a multi-talented man. A writer of books, including “I am Spock” and “I am not Spock”, a movie actor and a director.
He was also a photographer, and published a book of black and white photos, ‘Shekhina’, which caused quite some controversy, due to nudity, but I thought the images were wonderful.
I can’t imagine how many interviews he did, but I have two favorite videos of interviews from the Wexler Oral History Project.
The Jewish Story Behind Spock. Nimoy explains how the hand-gesture of the Priestly blessing became the sign for Spock’s Vulcan salute.
He also wrote beautiful poetry, exploring ‘love’, and published several poetry books, including, ‘A Lifetime of Love: Poems on the Passages of Life’, such a juxtaposition to his cold and totally logical Spock.
It’s hard to choose a favorite poem, but these following lines have always touched me.
From the poem ‘Patience‘:
Life comes and goes.
Laughter of the past
Rings through empty hallways.
The seasoning is bitter sweet.
Searching for me,
Through a house of mirrors.
I see a myriad of images,
But none are mine.
Only distorted reflections
Of a stranger.
Someone I’ve met
But don’t really know.
I cry out my name,
But the hollow echo that responds
Tells me I must wait.
It is not yet time.
From the poem ‘I am an incurable romantic’
I am an incurable romantic
I believe in hope, dreams and decency
I believe in love,
Tenderness and kindness.
I believe in mankind.
I believe in goodness,
Mercy and charity
I believe in a universal spirit
I believe in casting bread
Upon the waters.
Nimoy’s acting made me smile, laugh, amused and entertained me. His poetry touched me, and photographs moved me.
He was a real mensch.
Leonard Nimoy: may his memory be a blessing.