Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Steve Jobs, Llamas and A Shaved Head

First of all, I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the passing of Steve Jobs today, co-founder of Apple. His passing hurts me twice: first, and only superficially, as being the end of an era. I am a fan of Apple products, but I believe that he did truly think differently and forever influenced the way we interact with technology. Secondly, and much more importantly, his death is significant to me as he died -- too young -- of cancer. 

I'm sure he felt as I do that it is better to look forward than backward. The goal is not to seek out who to blame or what could have been. It is to make the best use of the time we all have. Anger takes away from this. I have plenty of anger, but when I remember to let it go I feel as if I'm putting my time to better use. 

I am reminded of the time that I had llamas when I lived in the mountains. (NOTE: this is actually a true story, though I realize it is starting out sounding like a joke...)

Llamas are quite large, and the pair that I had each weighed nearly 500 pounds and were 7 feet tall at the ears. Passive as they may seem, they are big, fast and are capable of smashing you against a fence or easily bowling you over on the way past. Llamas have incredibly acute hearing and are very sensitive animals. To be able to work with a llama -- to approach them to harness them or brush them -- you will need to calm yourself. Not just pretend to be calm or look nonchalant, either. A llama's hearing is so acute that they can hear your heartbeat from 20 feet away, or so I have been told. If you are relaxed, they begin to relax. If you are nervous or angry or scared, they can tell this as well. To work with a llama, you need to be relaxed, completely. This is an interesting and therapeutic exercise to go through.

By this analogy: if we let go of anger (or fear), we can approach life more easily. It is not easily done, but well worth it when I manage to succeed.

A Shaved Head

The photo is way overexposed, but you get the idea.

My hair got shaved yesterday by Crazy Helga, who reeked of booze at 3:30 pm on a Tuesday. Somehow, she was the perfect person to shave my head. No fanfare, sympathy, ceremony or chitchat, just buzzzzzzzt... and we're done. Now back to your reguarly-scheduled day.

I was glad to have Jen with me there, though. Its always a shock to see myself afterward, and I think watching the process is helpful for her, too. 

In general, today went pretty well. I had acupuncture and then a meeting wth the therapist. In an effort to combat the back pain I took the plunge and upgraded my home office chair to a real, grown-up one that is about as sophisticated as the space shuttle. I have been sitting in it for hours now with only minor pain starting now (an enormous improvement over the last one) and I'm still getting the adjustments right. This is more time than I've spent at my long-abandoned desktop computer in months. I consider that a plus.


John Slade said...


While I found the Steve Jobs cult to be annoying, I'm sad too. While I've been in the PC world for a long time, my heart is still with Apples. And yeah, he was a visionary hippie with great success.

Crazy Helga, huh?

Herman Miller Aeron?


raggers said...

Cuidado, llamas!

raggers said...

You wanted an example of somebody who has had your level of cancer and survived. Well: Herman Cain, Stage 4, metastasizing. Chemotherapy. Now says he is cancer-free. Looks pretty healthy, too.


RachaelHD said...

The thing no one mentions about Steve Jobs that I think is important is that when they drove him out and gave Apple to a CEO who treated it like any other large corporation it was on the edge of bankruptcy, when they brought back Jobs and his passion, commitment, understanding of the field, and aesthetic it became strong again. Steve Jobs is a repudiation of the entire modern model of all business as interchangeable widgets that any MBA can manage, and I think that's huge.

Cool about the chair! Back pain really drags me down, the more you can control it the better.

Post a Comment