It has been weeks since Steve Jobs passed on. Like so many others who have come to think of their Apple devices as virtual appendages, I had the distinct sense that his death was personal. Deeply.
I haven’t written about my response because there was so much that showed up that was so good. But when I think of this blog as a commonplace book that tracks my life and my evolving concerns, the absence of a post about Steve Jobs seems like a major omission.
So this is the placeholder adieu to a man I didn’t know as a friend but felt like I did. While I am from Redwood City and he is from Cupertino, it feels like we were kids from the same neighborhood. It’s that sense you have about someone who knows the same back streets and the best local restaurants, who knows where you could go during high school to sneak a cigarette and the best beach to hang out on in Half Moon Bay. It makes no sense, but yet it does.
I’ll borrow from Nicholas Baker‘s postscript on Jobs from the New Yorker issue with Barry Blitt’s poignant “The Book of Life” cover—God and Steve, together at last:
Everyone who cares about music and art and movies and heroic comebacks and rich rewards and being able to carry several kinds of infinity around in your shirt pocket is taken aback by this sudden huge vacuuming-out of a titanic presence from our lives. We’ve lost our techno-impresario and digital dream granter. Vladimir Nabokov once wrote, in a letter, that when he’d finished a novel he felt like a house after the movers had carried out the grand piano. That’s what it feels like to lose this world-historical personage. The grand piano is gone.