Death etc.

Sad to learn of Steve Jobs’ death. I know he’d been ill for quite some time, cancer’s a bitch.

One of my web pals posted a link to this speech of Steve Jobs speaking to a Stanford commencement in 2005. Some pretty interesting and inspiring words of wisdom:

I came to some similar conclusions earlier this year as my mother was dying. She was someone who’d spent her whole life working for others’ benefit: family and work. Her retirement date was set for Walpurgisnacht [April 30].

In the last couple of months leading up to that, she’d been getting more tired and had been having stomach troubles. She figured she had an ulcer, but oh well, it would go away once she was done work.

I spent a week in mid April out at Vogville. I worked for the Rabid Whole’s label/management of the time and they were having the new album mixed by Dave Ogilvie. I was out there as A&R/assistant to the assistant/official beer-run maker, which I’ve done a few times since graduating from engineering at Nimbus. Long hours [not as long as the Left Spine Down session in February, though], but loads of fun, and towards the end when it was clear it was pretty smooth sailing I lugged out some of my toys and did a bit of work on one of the new Maqlu demos, tentatively titled “Molasses.”

Anyway, the session was over on April 17. April 20 my mother stayed home sick. by April 21 she’d been in to the ER twice and was admitted over Easter weekend, had biopsies done.

She got her diagnosis of stage 4 stomach cancer on April 29, which would have been her last day at work. From there it was a quick decline.

Unable to keep even water down, she finally agreed to go back to the hospital on May 8 [Mother’s Day] and a week later was transferred to the BC Cancer Agency, where she died on June 23. She was 63.

I had lots of time to think about things driving in and out to visit her every day, and whilst spending time holed up in my rehearsal space working on stuff as a way of dealing with things, and while Steve Jobs phrased it more eloquently in the speech above, I decided that fuck it. If I might be dead in 30 years I’m not spending it in a cubicle or working for anyone else’s dream.

I’m fortunate to have some resources to draw on, but even if I didn’t, there’s always a way to do what you love to do and do it now and not wait for a later paradise which might never come.

Jobs’ comment about if too many days go by where you’re not happy to do what you’re doing then it’s time to change also hits close to home. Been there, fired that boss. 😉 Ditto taking classes more because they seemed interesting and then only later [sometimes years later] finding out how critical it was to take that frivolous class at that point in time. Connect the dots in hindsight indeed.

It sounds like a cheesy cliche to say “if today was your last day” and often it’s said as a toss-away. But I can say I’d be far more content with these “last days” now than I was last year at this time and more so different points in my past.

And now, back to working on new music…