I’m reading Steve Jobs biography at the moment and although he was a very complex and sometimes difficult character there is a section of the book that deals with the romantic relationships that he enjoyed. He claimed to love two woman in his life, Laurene Powell who was his wife until he died and Tina Redse with whom he had a strong spiritual connection throughout his life after enjoying a relationship with her.
I was struck by an email Tina sent to Steve Jobs, some 25 years after they had split up, which I thought was beautiful and wistful. I’m risking copyright iinfringement, but I’ve repeated it in full.
We were on a bridge in Paris in the summer of 1985. It was overcast. We leaned against the smooth stone rail and stared at the green water rolling on below. Your world had cleaved and then it paused, waiting to rearrange itself around whatever you chose next. I wanted to run away from what had come before. I tried to convince you to begin a new life with me in Paris, to shed our former selves and let something else course through us. I wanted us to crawl through that black chasm of your broken world and emerge, anonymous and new, in simple lives where I could cook you simple dinners and we could be together every day, like children playing a sweet game with no purpose save the game itself. I like to think you considered it before you laughed and said “What could I do? I’ve made myself unemployable”. I like to think that in a moment’s hesitation before our bold futures reclaimed us, we lived that simple life together all the way in to our peaceful old ages, with a brood of grandchildren around us on a farm in the south of France, quietly going about our days, warm and complete like loaves of fresh bread, our small world filled with the aroma of patience and familiarility.
I’ve stood on those very same bridges in Paris and dreamed a very similar dream.