Today, Christmas Day, I received sad news from an old childhood friend about the passing of another old childhood friend. After spending a chunk of time in Paris this month and knowing that I’m heading to Vegas soon for CES like I do ever year, the memories from an era and part of the world that seem so incredibly far away, are chilling but also bitter sweet.
You see, hearing about the loss of Jimmy Green (only 53) brings up countless vivid memories from a very simple life that would be hard to recapture in my life today unless I moved to a rural New Zealand village next to a lake, with no bandwidth or any hopes of getting it. And why go back? The future is the future and that’s where we live our lives.
Yet, like a great old novel, there’s nothing like an old childhood memory that brings up every taste, every sight, every sound, especially when it’s so damn vivid that you can reach out and touch and feel its very core. You’re so present with the moment that it becomes your current reality even if only for a flashing moment. Like being able to see and hear Jimmy Green’s voice again (he had a great laugh), and saying “you were a great contribution to this planet.”
But life moves on. In and around us, it moves, constantly surprising us with miracles and sad, shocking news, like this. Today, I also heard of another friend who just had a triple bypass, which came out of nowhere. Healthy, young, fit, but an awkward bout of heartburn suddenly had him in surgery. And then? Well, he’s still with us, but other old friends are not so lucky, like Marc Orchant, who I continue to think of often.
What Jimmy’s death did in addition to making me think of him and the best of childhood, was to reflect and sit still.
As I was making blueberry pancakes yesterday, this statement literally came out of mouth — into the wide open space called air, with no one to hear it but my own ears. “I don’t have time to be interesting anymore.” I almost laughed out loud it sounded so absurd and yet……it felt more true than any other loud or quiet outburst of late.
It takes time to be present. It takes time to reflect. It takes time to sit. It takes time to hear. And only with presence, reflection, a voice, an ear and time, can you grow. When you’re in a growth process, you ARE interesting.
It is in this place that you constantly ask questions, yearn for more, push boundaries and move beyond your comfort zone. Ahhhh, that comfort zone. It’s a miracle every time you leave it, isn’t it? Sometimes we just need reminding.
Christmas is intense for so many people because it brings up the best, the worst, the happiest moments in our lives and the saddest ones. The times we were closest to our families and the times we couldn’t have been more misaligned. It brings up birth, rebirth and it brings up loss – all the people we may not see because they now live on the other side of the world or are no longer living.
Jimmy was part of my earliest memories. We lived on a lake in the Adirondacks, the other side of heaven as people who have visited may have to acknowledge if they spent enough time there.
Thanks for the memory Jimmy and to you for all that you brought to this world in your 53 years. Remember the old boat? I know you’re seeing this wherever you are.
You will be missed.