This is the song my dear friend Ugonna recorded at my house while we spent a wonderful weekend together right up until just hours before he died. This visit was the most open, earnest, and fun time we ever spent together, and I know he felt super accomplished when we finished this. It’s surreal to me that he was no longer with us just hours later as he was so alive and enthusiastic to be recording this song. I want to share this song to remind people that he was creating and inspiring right up to his final moments.
He said that he did not have a title for the song so I’m not going to give it one. I’ll always love you man.
(A shorter version of this piece appears in today’s Washington Post. Photo of Google executive and engineer Marissa Mayer via. Headline via.)
Let’s say I was designing a new piece of software to make my life as a writer a little easier. First, I’d program it count how many characters I’d typed out and in what amount of time, in order to document my productivity on any given day. Then I’d ask it to compare words, phrases, sentences and entire paragraphs from one draft to the next, in order to calculate how much of what I’d written had changed…or stayed the same.
“I felt like lying down by the side of the trail and remembering it all. The woods do that to you, they always look familiar, long lost, like the face of a long-dead relative, like an old dream, like a piece of forgotten song drifting across the water, most of all like golden eternities of past childhood or past manhood and all the living and the dying and the heartbreak that went on a million years ago and the clouds as they pass overhead seem to testify (by their own lonesome familiarity) to this feeling.”—Jack Kerouac
“A lot of people enjoy being dead. But they are not dead, really. They’re just backing away from life. *Reach* out. Take a *chance*. Get *hurt* even. But play as well as you can. Go team, go! Give me an L. Give me an I. Give me a V. Give me an E. L-I-V-E. LIVE! Otherwise, you got nothing to talk about in the locker room.”—Maude. Harold and Maude.