Live Long, and Prosper…

Leonard Nimoy

I was eight years old when I came home and announced to my parents that I was going to be a writer when I grew up.

For years after that (admittedly crazy) statement, life as a TV writer was nowhere on my horizon. (Any childhood dream of moving to HOLLYWOOD!! – fearsome land of the flashing lights and brilliant stars — was definitely more predicated on the idea of growing up and marrying Leonardo DiCaprio vs. any actual thought that I could grow up and actually write for the small screen…)

See, I grew up without watching much TV.  I Love Lucy and Leave it to Beaver were usually playing at my grandparents’ house, and my fam watched Lois & Clark like clockwork. A few later years, my deep and enduring love for Smallville could not be overstated. But outside of that? I was much more of a books girl.

But there was a show — The Show.

On weekends, whenever we could find reruns, my dad and I would sit and watch Star Trek.

I had no idea in those random moments how much my entire future was getting laid out before me — a future TV writer of the sci-fi persuasion.  I just knew that I loved hanging out with my dad and watching A City on the Edge of Forever, The Trouble with Tribbles or Mirror, Mirror. We watched that show for years together — and still do.  (The last time my dad was in LA, we sat and watched City for probably the millionth time.)

And so tonight, sitting in London on the writing adventure of a lifetime, I find myself sad.

Leonard Nimoy has passed away… 

Even typing that feels just a little impossible.  I’m sorry — that makes no sense.  What???  Decades before I was born, he was creating this weird little show with so many others, imbuing life and humanity into this odd, seemingly emotionless creature.  He was the other, the outsider, the one who just didn’t understand. He railed against our emotions, against our seeming lack of logic, against everything that was wrong with the way we humans went skipping about the galaxy. And we loved him for it… he was our voice of reason in this new world we so desperately wanted.  He was Mr. Spock.

And it was this weird little show that made me love sci-fi. It was this weird little show that made me feel like maybe I wasn’t alone, that even if all my friends hated all things sci-fi and nerd-culture while I loved it, that I’d be all right. I could be me, and let them be them. It was the beginning of Lynn The TV Writer, and I didn’t even know it yet.

So tonight, I’m a bit quiet and a bit reflective, thankful for all of the people who created the worlds that inspired me to create my own.  We were never meant to make it alone — we are all here because someone else went on ahead of us and said — The hell with convention. Let’s make it awesome.  

Where would we be without them?

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Seeing the Moon on a Clear Night

I was born into a world where Neil Armstrong had already walked on the moon.

It was a fact of life, a way of living established by people who had long ago lived out the wildest dreams of humanity.

So easy to forget sometimes that these adventurers made it to the moon and back with guts, grit and the practical equivalent of a few pieces of metal held together with chewing gum, duct tape and hope.

A few months ago, I ran across the speech President Nixon had ready to go in case of an Apollo 11 disaster where the men were unable to launch back off the moon.

“Fate has ordained that the men who went to the moon to explore in peace will stay on the moon to rest in peace. These brave men, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin know that there is no hope for their recovery. But they also know that there is hope for mankind in their sacrifice.

“These two men are laying down their lives in mankind’s most noble goal: the search for truth and understanding.”

 

It wasn’t until I read those words that I really understood what they’d risked.  

Of course, they made it home to a hero’s welcome and a place in the world’s history books, splashing down into the Pacific Ocean and forever defining our history with before the moon and after. 

I have a short list I call my Happy List.  It’s a collection of songs, historical clips, movie moments, journal entries, even YouTube videos that I watch when I need to be reminded that there is good in the world.  There is hope.  That despite all of the truly horrific pieces of life, that sometimes we actually do come through with something breathtaking.

I like to imagine God laughing in delight with me.  Humanity is so weird, so funny.  So adventurous.  

One of my clips is Walter Cronkite’s anchoring of the moon landing. Here is this grown man –  smart, tactful, respectful, always pulled together.  He was the voice of reason for a country trying to make sense of where they were at as the world changed dramatically around them.

But when the Eagle touched down, he was once again the voice of a nation and the world – the giddy, unbelieving, laughing nation going, “Holy hell… Jules Verne was right.”  Walter Cronkite laughed like a little boy given the keys to the planet of Christmas.

Neil Armstrong – standing on the shoulders of giants – made our dreams come alive, then came home and lived.

I always wondered what he thought about when he looked up at the moon every night.  

While we mourn the loss of a very good man, we also celebrate his remarkable life and hope that it serves as an example to young people around the world to work hard to make their dreams come true, to be willing to explore and push the limits, and to selflessly serve a cause greater than themselves.  

For those who may ask what they can do to honor Neil, we have a simple request. Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink.” 

– the family of Neil Armstrong

Good night, Mr. Armstrong, and godspeed….

  

 

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