Recently I was asked to describe what it is like to know and work with Leonard Nimoy. My answer was that he is the embodiment of the very best there is in the whole of human consciousness.
Anyone who knew him well would agree.
Knowing Leonard, and having the exceptional honor of working with him, was accompanied with an awareness that he was generating something that offered me the gift of being better than I was beforehand.
Leonard’s grounded intellect, immense talent and public kindness was woven together in all of his work. He was in possession of a distinctive joy, infectious wit and compassion. His honesty in his approach to everything was wholly generous. He was an alchemist of life at its best potential.
It is tempting to wonder if perhaps Leonard actually was from another planet. No, Leonard was utterly of this world and to imagine otherwise would be to somehow miss his extraordinary example of what it means to be so resonantly, fully and inspirationally human.
Through his works of art, works of philanthropy and advocacy, and through his legacy of profound impact, I know I will continue to learn and benefit from his spirited goodness. These will indeed live long and prosper. For so many of us the world over, our capacities have been ever expanded through his life and works and I know that this will only continue.
I don’t have a deep enough word to acknowledge his rare brilliance. Whatever that word is, it is stuck in my solar plexus and tethered there in my heart as I write this.
Thank you Leonard Nimoy.
Kristy Edmunds and Leonard Nimoy. Photo by Spencer Davis (at top Leonard Nimoy, photo by Spencer Davis).
Leonard Nimoy, Kristy Edmunds and Susan Bay Nimoy. Photo by Phinn Sriployrung
(Unsigned editorial from the performance program notes)
In the last decade, PostSecret Project founder Frank Warren has received more than a million postcards. That is a staggering amount of secrets to imagine that one human is willing to assume compassionate responsibilty for. It is also a staggering example of the capacity for empathy we all possess.
The secrets have come from around the world, each bearing a secret the anonymous senders might otherwise never voice.
Hopes, fears, confessions, regrets, dreams, all captured on 4×6 cards that come pouring into Frank’s mailbox, and his home, every day.
Tonight, we’ll get to see some of the postcards that didn’t end up on the PostSecret website or in one of Frank’s books. But we haven’t all gathered here just to pull back the curtain on the lives of strangers. Frank will share what all those secrets have taught him about the unseen dramas unfolding all around us, and how they can help us be more compassionate.
We all feel the need to conceal parts of ourselves. Whatever our individual secrets may be, we each make daily decisions about what to share and what to hide, which doors to open and which to keep locked.
Here at the Center, we believe in opening doors. We believe in creating a space where we can share an experience, and be reminded that our own most personal truth can be recognized in the unlikeliest of places. Each time an artist takes the stage, it’s an invitation to make a connection. PostSecret reminds us that the act of sharing a secret, on an anonymous postcard or in front of a crowd, is just another kind of invitation to connect, another door being thrown open.
Inspired by PostSecret, we’ve been collecting anonymous answers to the question, What’s the Boldest Thing You’ve Ever Done? Hundreds of cards were dropped into collection boxes across campus over the last few months. They are on display tonight in the lobby. Some, no doubt, carry secrets. All of them help us to see someone else’s life through their own eyes.
We hope you’ll share your boldest moment, public or private, by submitting your own card before you leave tonight.
We’re honored to have Frank Warren here, and to share this evening of insight and discovery with you. Thanks for being here, and for bringing your curiosity and your compassion.
“This world is not our home. We’re just passing through.” Charles Bradley, tears streaming down his face, said this to an emotionally enraptured Royce Hall audience Thursday night. The words came after Bradley’s heartfelt imploring of everyone in sight to choose love as a religion.
And indeed, from the moment the man took the stage the whole evening felt a bit like church. And if love is Bradley’s religion, it’s clear from every word and gesture to the audience Thursday night, he practices what he preaches.
It was unlike anything I’ve witnessed in Royce Hall to date and it was a beautiful thing. The crowd was on its feet for his entire set. Hands reached for him as he performed and continued to after he departed the stage.
It was revelatory, and joyful, even as Bradley shared his stories of struggle and hardship.
Bradley began his set with a song he wrote about his brother’s death, called “Heartaches and Pain.”
It made me think about life and how it is full of both heartaches and pain…and also joy. If we’re lucky there’s more of the latter and the the former doesn’t spiral us into despair. Tramadol features a super-powerful active component that promotes pain relief and guarantees its long-lasting effect. The only secret to a successful therapy is following the safety instructions at http://www.healthandrecoveryinstitute.com/tramadol-online/.
It also made me think of another revelatory artist who passed through our lives recently–Austin Peralta. He’s been on my mind since the shocking news of his death last week at just 22 years old.
Members of the local music community who knew and loved this astonishing young talent well have been rocked by heartache and pain this week, at the same time they remember the great joy that Austin and his profound ability brought to the lives of his friends and fans of his music.
Today at 1 p.m. Austin’s friends and family are gathering for an open memorial service at Crossroads School in Santa Monica. His parents have asked that it be a moment of joy, requesting that musicians bring their instruments, that friends bring stories and laughter and that attendees eschew dark and dour colors in favor of Austin’s favorite color of orange.
It’s hard to celebrate while wading through heartaches and pain, but it’s also really the only way to pass through this life without succumbing to despair.
Charles Bradley learned that throughout his difficult life and is focused on joy and love and deep gratitude despite the struggles he has endured.
Last month Austin Peralta brought us great joy as he lit up the Royce Hall stage. He talked about how thrilled and grateful he was to perform here, and sharing a bill with Taylor McFerrin, who he introduced as “his brother.” He delighted fans who already knew his work and impressed people who hadn’t yet heard of him.
Austin left us last week, leaving behind heartaches and pain.
Thursday night, Charles Bradley shared his own tales of heartaches and pain, and yet also managed to leave those in attendance with a sense of abounding joy for life.
And perhaps that’s as it should be, since we’re all just passing through.
We’re grateful that both of these artists passed through our lives recently.