Wednesday, October 5, 2011

RIP, Steve Jobs

Right now the quote I posted from George Passmore of the Gilbert & George art duo on Sept. 26 resonates even more with the passing of Steve Jobs today. I'll post the quote again:

“We just want to devote ourselves to art.
We’re all dragged at increasing speed towards the grave.
Any picture we don’t make will be not made by somebody else."

Steve Jobs made art. Yes, he was a great inventor and technologist, but above all, the man made art. Tremendous art. Art we may not see again in this lifetime (though I'm hopeful we will). And think of how much art he could have made had he lived to the old four score and ten - wow!

Still, the man crammed a lot into his relatively short 56 years. He made the most of it, that's for sure. Tonight, when I was reading various obits on different news sites, I came across a quote from a commencement address he gave in 2005 at Stanford University (after he'd been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer):

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

I was frickin' inspired by this quote. I am frickin' inspired by Steve Jobs. What an amazing, brilliant, creative life.

All this so dovetails with everything that has been going on with me in the last couple of months, how I'm sick of not living the life my heart wants me to live. Life is fuckin' short y'all, and we all have dreams in our hearts that have been placed there for a reason, we have words we need to say, ideas to form into shapes, art that needs to be spread across a canvass, chiseled into stone, molded into great technology. As George Passmore said, no one else will be able to create what you or I as individuals can create - not with the same vision, the same shading, the same spirit.

No one could create what Steve Jobs did. And think of how much poorer we would be if he'd gotten scared and never ventured out to create all the things he created. Not that we're all going to be Steve Jobs, but we all have our unique voice that can speak to at least one other person, inspire them and get them to live life as fully and richly as they can. If you could inspire just one person like that, just from following your heart, wouldn't that be fabulous? And you know what, you'd probably inspire not just one person, but a whole group of people and maybe even change the world for the better in your own little way, just by expressing your heart.

I'm taking steps to express my own heart. Last night, I sat and drew a picture of my cat. And while this picture isn't going to be the next Van Gogh, when I finished I was amazed. It was the best picture I'd ever drawn. Not only did it look like a cat (!), it even looked like my cat! What was even more amazing was that all the stuff I've been learning about drawing and all the stuff I've been practicing in drawing came together just beautifully, and I began to understand something about how to draw. This was a major victory for me, and I was so excited! Scared a little too, because I wondered, "Will the next picture I draw be as good?" But overall I was so excited, and for the first time I began to think "I might be able to do this art thang."

And I'm working on my writing as well, on this blog, yes, but I've also written a couple of poems that I loved, and I decided to try my hand at writing for web sites that pay writers to compose short web articles. I'm almost done with my first sample to submit with my application to these sites, and I'm pleased with the result. We'll see what happens with that.

The important thing is, I'm taking steps towards my dreams, small steps, yes, but I am taking steps. I'm tired of bitching and moaning about how I'm not getting to live the life I want, and I'm making that life, and living that life, even in small bits.

Yes, tonight I am saddened by Steve Jobs' death, and I'm saddened that he won't be around to create any more great art like the Mac, the IPod, the IPhone, and the IPad. I'm also inspired by his life - in what he created in his life as well the brevity of his life - to create my own art and share it with the world, and do this NOW rather than later. And I'm certain that a whole host of people the world over have been and will continue to be inspired by Steve Jobs and will create their own art that changes the world.

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