Oddly, the ad that most caught my attention, this tear was a car ad. A luxury car ad, no less - BMW.
I have never owned a new car in my life, and can't imagine doing so. I prefer used things, items that, whether I know it or not, have a life and a story behind them. And I have utterly no lust at all for a luxury model...even used, I prefer a low-key, humble, reliable sedan large enough to hold the four of us, and, if necessary, one 70 pound Corki-dog.
So I was playing on the laptop and talking to Jim, one night a couple of months back, with the commercials playing ignored, when I heard it. One word I couldn't ignore, delivered in a voice I've loved since childhood...
I stopped in the middle of what I'd been saying, and put all my attention on the TV. Visions of Vulcans and "In Search of...." danced in my head, and I KNEW.
Leonard Nimoy was doing the voiceover of a BMW commercial...and I was grinning ear to ear. All of a sudden, luxury cars ads were worth listening to.
I'd noticed, when the new movie came out, that Leonard has grown old, the strong voice I loved when I was seven, less strong now, with more of a quaver. The voice that narrated my childhood curiosity, bringing me crystal skulls, caves, the Bermuda Triangle, King Tut's curse....long,long before I knew who Spock was, I knew Leonard's voice as the one that made me think. When I was seven, my mother had a joke that I would come running from anywhere in the house when I heard his voice. It reached deeply into my soul, inspired me, soothed something I couldn't name.
All these years later, it still has the same effect.
At 13, I discovered Star Trek. Well, really, I discovered Spock. Fell in love with him, with the idea of a character so complex and conflicted, who was also brilliant, fierce, logical, and capable of huge deviations from that logic. And who was still somehow whole. I had to learn all icould about him, then write more stories for him...I've been doing that ever since.
Spock gave me an anchor, and a direction. That type of calm was unknown in my life, before him. I know he's a fictional character, but he was believable in both his Vulcanity and his humanity. He gave me hope that there could be calm and peace in my life, too, no matter that I was sometimes furious.
For the outcast teen I was, so different in so many ways from my peers, he was a friend, a confidant, and a guide to lead me into the type of adult world that didn't interest my parents.
Now, at the age of 40, I hear a familiar, calming voice on a BMW ad, and it leads me to ponder where I might be now if I'd never heard that voice, never known that character who brought so much solace to difficult years in my life, and has remained to intrigue and inspire me further...
Someday, neither Leonard Nimoy or I will be alive anymore. I am grateful that at least part of our living overlapped, so I could have a voice in my life that led me to places and thoughts I might not have known, else...
Wherever you are, on this last night of 2009, Leonard, I quietly lift a hand in salute, and say, simply, "Live long, and prosper."