Spock as Wisdom Figure

May 18, 2009

Last fall I sat in on a six week memoir writing class. We’d be given a couple of topics during class time and just do some free writing for 15 minutes on that topic.

One of the first exercises we did involved first making a list of five wisdom figures, people who’ve assisted us in our quest for meaning, who’ve helped shape our core values. I scratched out a list with a little difficulty and picked one of them to write on. Here it is.

Okay, so he’s got pointy ears. So what? Big deal. Yes, he’s from another planet. Yes, he lacks emotions. Yes, he’s fictional. But Spock is there, in my memory, in my views of the world, in the views of my own life. He stands there erect, hands clasped behind his back in an “at ease” position that I still mimic to this day. Every Sunday as I recite the Apostle’s Creed, I’m standing straight and still like Spock.He’s loyal. Rational. Yes, I have to say it, he’s logical. He appreciates the scientific method. and while he maintains a cool reserve, we all know that underneath he’s got a seething cauldron of raw feelings boiling away, kept under control by a single upturned eyebrow and a healthy curiosity about all things new. Puzzles are a challenge, a way to learn something new. And while he’s been known to throw a punch or two in his time, he mostly handles conflict with a zen-like detachment, coolly pinching an opponent’s shoulder, dropping the villain instantly into a cold, deep sleep. He’s a stranger amidst a crew of irrational humans, trying to understand the foreign language of emotional responses.

Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

Star Trek – The New Movie

May 10, 2009

So, rather surprisingly, I got out of the house and made it to a movie theater. On an opening weekend. It’s harder than you think with my two kids. They’re high energy, they’re fun and they like to do everything together as a family and by the end of a day it’s all I can do to drag myself into bed.

But I wanted to see Star Trek. I’d hoped to see it sooner rather than later, but it was proving tricky. I didn’t really want to go by myself (although I was ready to resort to that). My wife decided from the promos that the film was aimed at 18 year old boys and would be “too much” for her. The friend I have in town who’s closest to a Trek fan already had plans to go see it with his girlfriend. I figured I’d get to see it at some point with another friend – and, frankly, I had no idea of his history with or opinion of the Trek franchise. But then he called Friday evening. “You want to go see it tonight?”

Read the rest of this entry »

Enterprise

June 26, 2008

There’s one spaceship that remains my favorite, even after all these decades. I first encountered it in second grade, watching Star Trek reruns after school (while also filling up on GilliganBrady BunchLost in Space and others). There was just something wonderfully sleek, futuristic and functional about the design. There were no pretensions to being something that lands on a planet and needs wings nor was it just a cheesy rocket. The Enterprise is unique and I wanted to be on that ship with Capt. Kirk and pals.

When the ship got redesigned for the first movie, I loved it even more. Clean lines, somehow even more realistic and just beautiful. Why you’d need running lights in space, I’ll never know, but it sure looks cool.

So in the second movie, (spoiler alert) Spock dies. Yeah, bummer, but what a great movie! Then in the third movie (spoiler alert) the Enterprise died.

That’s when I cried. The Enterprise seemed like it had always been part of my life. I owned numerous models of it over the years, a whole fleet to fuel my imagination.

The Cage

May 21, 2008

Sometimes it seems like Star Trek guided my entire life. It ebbs and flows from my memories, oozing out of my childhood and spurting in fits and starts through college and even affecting my marriage. It’s like a big box around my existence. Sometimes I can touch the edges, sometimes they remain out of sight. But it’s always there.

And before you ask: Kirk. Definitely Kirk. Always Kirk.

Now, to be a bit more clear, while Star Trek definitely weaves a web through my existence, I am not one of these guys. Sure, I spotted right away the “wrong” placement of certain figures on this cake, I’ll admit that. But it didn’t bother me. Well, not enough to say anything out loud.