I’m in Portland, OR right now. I came here to try to absorb by some osmotic process the local culture of self-cultivation, people engaging in projects not because the projects are useful or justified, but because they want to. People living out their aesthetic vision for their lives. But when I got here, I found that it is not Rivendell, where lonely Elf-friends can heal their wounds, but the Shire. You can visit and be welcome, but you won’t really be a part of it. It’s not Elfsongs and stories and public feasts, but people living out their private lives in communities. You can visit a person in Portland, but you can’t really visit Portland.
Tag Archives: vulcan
Shortly after my grandmother's death, Leonard Nimoy offered to be the honorary grandfather of anyone who wanted. I took him up on the offer. It helped to have a grandparent again.
Sometimes the most amazing kindnesses are not the ones bought at great sacrifice, but the ones that cost little more than the work it took to become the sort of person who knows what will help.
The first Vulcan we met was a half-Vulcan. Spock was remarkable, not by mere privilege of who he was born as, but what he aspired to be. I remember him as someone who never accepted raw emotions as the answers, but held them in great awe as questions. Who could be relied on to master himself even in the most extreme and difficult circumstances, because of his powerful commitment to the good of the many. This one was called “unfeeling” and “cold,” and he embraced these words, but I saw someone who felt too deeply to function unless he learned to move against that powerful current.
I remember Spock as someone who stood by his friends, with the ferocity and dedication of someone who has decided with reason and emotion alike that a true friend is one of the few fully good things in this world, if you can find one - and who knew that, in their own way, Kirk and McCoy felt the same about him.
I remember Spock as someone who learned from his friends. As Ambassador Spock in The Next Generation, he took daring risks in the cause of reconciliation between Vulcans and Romulans. Risks that more resemble something his old friend Captain Kirk would have taken, that the Spock from The Original Series would have dismissed as illogically risky. Spock grew greater, wiser, more truly Vulcan and Human.
Leonard Nimoy both was and was not Spock. If we ever wake up from this terrible dream, where lives can blink out after a mere 83 years, we will have a Spock of sorts still with us, but Leonard Nimoy is yet one more person we will not have with us anymore. And Leonard Nimoy created Spock, shaped him to be the Spock we loved. Without a Leonard Nimoy to animate him, Spock will have nothing new to say, will not do anything surprising but yet essentially Spock-ish. So the living Spock is also lost to us forever.
Leonard Nimoy both was and was not Spock. I miss them both.