Over the weekend the New York Times published the eulogy from Mona Simpson for her brother Steve Jobs. It is tremendously moving, and I think nicely rounds out the gradient of Jobs as a figure who was at once informed through public performance, apocryphal anecdotes and an exceedingly private life.
Steve’s last words were “Oh wow!” repeated three times. What he was feeling, what he saw behind or beyond the faces of his loved ones we’ll never know.
But “oh wow” says something to me. Two monosylables which express so much wonderment, breathlessness and astonishment. It got me thinking of the last time I said that without reservation.
When he emerged into the world all I could do is say “oh wow…oh wow” and look at him. Sometimes I still do (when he isn’t throwing water bottles at the dogs or drawing on the walls).
One of my favorite songs from R.E.M. is “Sweetness Follows,” which is a song (ostensibly) about dealing with the crushing weight of life and moving on. There is a line in there I really like:
“Live your life filled with joy and thunder”
So we shall.