Rip Steve Jobs: 1955-2011

Today Steve Jobs died and I am feeling a loss.  I am rather surprised about my feeling of loss and grief. After all, I did not know Steve Jobs; I never met him. I never heard him tell a joke in my presence, nor feel the pressure of his hand in mine. Generally, he’s a stranger to me–nothing more than a seriously recognizable name. And yet I feel a void today. Maybe it’s because I sit at my Macintosh computer, and I conduct my life on my iPhone, and enjoy time off with my iPad. Maybe it’s because his technology, and the technology created by Apple, has inspired me to learn and do new things–to combine my art with technology, define that intersection between the two entities, a goal of  Steve Jobs.

 It wasn’t long ago that Steve jobs left Apple, indeed less than a month–August 24th. Most of us expected that this move meant he no longer had much time left to live. However, I rather hoped he would’ve had more time than he did. I suspect that he was prepared for this moment, at least as much as any of us can be prepared for death. I cannot help but think about his 2005 commencement speech that he gave to Stanford University. I have watched the speech many times, but I stood in the kitchen tonight with my ipad and watched it again after I heard the news that he had died. This time, however, instead of smiling or just simply feeling inspired, which I always do when I watch the speech, I felt profoundly sad and at the same time I felt profoundly reminded that life is (too) short, and that Steve Jobs was quite right–death is the greatest motivator one could wish for. If his life is any measure of how one can be motivated by the possibility of not being alive tomorrow, not being able to strive for new potential and possibility, then Steve Jobs lived that exemplary.

Somehow I think Apple will continue to grow and will continue to innovate. I can only hope that they continue the mission of fusing art with technology because that is quite simply why I was attracted to Apple products in the first place. I like the fact I can do music on a Mac. I like the fact that my computer, phone, and pad are aesthetically pleasing. I like the fact that I can edit multimedia – make movies or even simply write a book. There is an intuitive ease and inspiration to Apple products in general that I find inspires me in my own endeavors. There are many people I have to thank for this, but certainly Steve jobs is at the top of that list.

 There will be lots of people who will criticize Steve Jobs, like they did when he was alive, because he wasn’t always the kindest or the most empathic of individuals.  However, as my husband pointed out–he was brilliant. He was inspirational. He was a visionary. He was an individual that tore down personal and societal barriers. For those reasons he is help change our world and certainly he is helped change my life. And so today, I feel a loss.

Apple

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