Daily Archives: February 27, 2015

“You Must Have Faith…” RIP Leonard Nimoy

Today we lost a great human being and wonderfully actor who playing the Vulcan “Mr Spock” in Star Trek help to teach us to be better human beings. As I mentioned earlier I am on the way to Gettysburg and I found out as my iPhone lit up with news alerts. Thankfully I am not driving. 

Those who follow my writings know just how much Star Trek in all its forms means to me, it is one of the constants in my life, which along with baseball and history has helped make me who I am today. 

One of the key players in that show, who I have always had a certain fondness for was Mr Spock, played by Leonard Nimoy. Nimoy played a character who could have been a one dimensional caricature with a depth, sensitivity, and complex subtlety that enriched us who watched him. 

Of course Nimoy was much more than Spock, he was a tremendously gifted actor and his career even without Star Trek would have been considered quite successful. But it was his portrayal of Spock in the original series, the films that flowed from that series and his reprise of the role in Star Trek the Next Generation and Star Trek: Into Darkness which made him an icon of film and television, and made me look for something higher, better and more noble in life. I’m sure others who grew up with him would agree with me in that. 

I was thinking about the many things that Nimoy said, as Mr Spock as well as out of character which were so rich. One of the most fascinating is in the movie Star Trek VI The Undiscovered Country where Captain Spock startles a young Vulcan Lieutenant when discussing a possible peace treaty with the Klingon Empire. 

Spock: History is replete with turning points, Lieutenant. You must have faith.” 

Valeris: Faith?

Spock: That the universe will unfold as it should

Valeris: But is that logical? Surely we must….

Spock: Logic, logic and, logic….Logic is the beginning of wisdom, Valeris, not the end…

I am a terribly logical person, I doubt at least as much and often more than I have faith. Sometimes I have a hard time getting around my logical side to believe, to have faith. Thus the exchange is something that resonates with me. 

Nimoy, as Nimoy had a profound wit, as well as wisdom. Nimoy tweeted his last tweet on February 23rd it is quite profound.

“A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP” 

For those who don’t get the last bit of that LLAP is the line that Spock and Nimoy are both most remembered for, live long and prosper. 

It is a fitting benediction. I shall miss him. 

Live long, and prosper.

Peace

Padre Steve+ 

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Filed under faith, Loose thoughts and musings, philosophy, star trek

A Weekend In Gettysburg



Friends of Padre Steve’s World

Well we survived the latest iteration of the great Hampton Roads Snowmageddon 2015. I have to say  that the VDOT and local city governments did a great job in clearing the roads. 

Now I am on the way up to Gettysburg to lead the winter Staff Ride, now with an academic promotion and title of Assistant Professor. 

I love doing this, for me it is more than just looking at and studying a battle. What happened when I started teach this was that I began to study, research and write. As I did that my interst was piqued by the people who led the armies, as well as the politicians on both sides. In doing so I began to see this as more than an event, and the people as something more than caricatures with little depth who we typically only study in relation to what they did on the battlefield. Personally I think that is a terrible way to do history, I think we miss the really important stuff when we, and I am talking historians as well as laymen do that. 

So when I reach I spend a lot of time dealing with the people, their strengths, weaknesses, beliefs, character, motivations, intellect, personality, the things that give life to them. These are the things that my students can relate to because they are not just past events, but the the people in a sense serve as a mirror for us. 

When we get to Gettysburg tonight we will have some dinner and drinks at the Irish tavern doing some bonding and “table talk.” That is a wonderful way to learn, so much better that power point lectures and canned case studies. 

Anyway, I will check in over the weekend. 

Peace

Padre Steve+ 

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Filed under Gettysburg, History, philosophy