Steve Jobs died this week, and it’s still sinking in. I know the man had a full life characterized by outrageous success that validated wild dreams, love that corrected missteps of his youth, and curiosity that sparked a global revolution. But I’ll miss him. I’ll miss him just as much as any actual Mac-head disciple will, simply because I, just like everyone else in the world, was personally impacted by his innovative work and unrelenting drive. As a visionary with a history of psychedelic drug use, as a music lover who put thousands upon thousands of songs in our pockets (always with a self-satisfied smile), and as an idea man with a stunning impatience for mediocrity, he resisted any pressure to reign it in as a gesture of humility and decorum, in or outside of the office.
The world has lost a mad scientist, an artist and a stealth weapon against willful ignorance and compliance. His empire may have broadened in its influence more than he could have imagined in 1984, but we can’t forget where it started. It all began as a seed of a sprout of a budding conviction, like any new invention born of necessity and magic. It started in the quiet, in the dark, before its vessel had even become aware of its impending approach.
In the calm, meditative, and boundless mind of a human being, the potential for a new reality broke through. Any thinker and aspiring doer yearns for this to happen in the rich soil of her own consciousness, but we can’t forget to allow nature to take its course even as it struggles to remain relevant to the hoards of tech-savvy and dull.
Decades after the future was just a glint in Jobs’ eye, life is as virtual as it is organic. Our illuminated machines mock our provincial fantasies of bygone days when we weren’t immediately accessible, informed, linked up, and distracted by countless digital functions and obligations. We may have missed the point of it all, so today, I’m remembering our roots and reminding myself to regularly unplug and sit in silence for a spell.