As I write this, I am sitting in the beautiful Air New Zealand lounge at Sydney International Airport. Very soon now, I will be hurling back across the Pacific Ocean to go home.
But I'm not thinking of my impending trip yet to come, my mind is set on October 6th. Which was still October 5th back in the USA. Time, like all things we experience and attempt to describe, is relative to the observer.
After a run with the dolphins the boat headed back to Fiji and dry land. As we approached the shallows, my mobile phone came into cellular range and I heard a muffled "beep" telling me that a text message had arrived. I ignored it while I loaded up my gear and went trudging to the shore. I had intended to check my new text as I waded back, but the sandy floor was squishy and slick with plant growth. This made the risk of slipping and dropping my iPhone into the ocean a bigger risk than I was willing to take.
So inside a waterproof pouch which sat inside a waterproof bag, my iPhone waited.
As did I.
And it was a torturous wait because I rarely get texts. Especially when people know I'm out of the country. On those rare occasions when I do get such a text, it's almost always bad news.
My mind was not in a very happy place when I finally got back to the Scuba Bula shop. A part of me wanted to continue ignoring the text for fear of what it might say but, as you can imagine, this is really impossible.
Of the hundreds of nasty scenarios that went through my head, a text from my brother telling me that Steve Jobs had died never entered my mind...
As I said, texts always seem to bring bad news.
One of my heroes for the past 27 years was gone.
As anybody who has read this blog for any length of time can probably guess, I was devastated.
I tried to avoid the crush of chatter online, but you couldn't be online without reading about it. And so much of it was beautiful and touching and everything one would expect. But not all of it. A common thread emerged mocking those who were grieving by saying "How can you be so sad and pathetic? You didn't even know him!"
Which is wrong, of course. So very wrong.
Just as you can come to know an artist by their art... Steve Jobs was probably one of these easiest people on earth to get to know through the products Apple makes. And though a great many people contribute to the design, manufacture, and experience that makes these products intrinsically "Apple"... Steve Jobs' fingerprints are on everything. It's his beautiful, singular vision that drove the company to it's massive level of success and created legions of fans worldwide.
As I type this blog post on my MacBook Pro while uploading television episodes for the flight to my iPad and charging my iPhone, I know Steve Jobs. He surrounds me every day. I spend more time with him than I do anybody else.
And so I grieve as I would for any friend who has passed on.
And I remember, because it's impossible for a Certified Apple Whore to forget.
I'm sure this is not the last thing I'll have to say, but it is the only thing I can say right now.
I've got a plane to catch so I can travel back in time.