The death of Steve Jobs at age 56 (younger than me) logically shouldn’t be affecting so many of us. We are in tears over a corporate executive? No, we are in tears over the loss of the world’s greatest visionary, one who could see how people could “Think Different” (the theme of a famous Apple ad campaign celebrating creativity). Think Different is so rarely honored today and I fear with the loss of the greatest leader of creative thinking, those of us who want to try it will be persecuted more than ever. I mourn Steve Jobs’ loss with the poem by W. H Auden that you may remember from the movie 4 Weddings and a Funeral, recited by a man for his crazy, life-loving lover:
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.
Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.
He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.
The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.
W. H. Auden