Sven To You
Most will consider 9/11 as remembrance of an atrocity that occurred within our nation. Some cried. Some died. Some cheered. I think 9/11 as it is commonly known within the vernacular and as “The Event”, was a pathetic display of religion and government gone awry. I personally know people who made it out of the towers – they are near and dear to me. Their stories are gut wrenching. Running till they puked with bodies flying like rain, splattering on pavement, with an additional hailstorm of aviation gas, fumes and concrete. Yet in elite fashion the people that I know rebuilt their lives both in terms of monetary success, physical and mental performance.
That said I know September 11 as another day. Over the years since September 11, 2005 I continually think about my comrade at arms: Steven Swenson (aka Sven). For those that do not know he died in a free diving accident in Costa Rica on this day in 2005. Many will say that one should “move on” and forget. Yet I say Time can be crystallized much like a wound that is cauterized with high heat. Time is a construct – we can stop time at a moment of our affinity – surrounding yourself with what you enjoy. Many of you who “follow” my blog, tweets or facebook pages will have a succinct understanding of my views on life. The elite perform. There are no free lunches and the aspects of Lex Talionis are alive and well at certain echelons of life for those that love the game within the game.
I am continually asked about proverbial secrets of success and tales of certain times in my life – especially when a group of us banded together during the hay day of silicon valley (then not now).
Loose lips sink ships and dead pirates tell no tales. There are many tales that will never be told as half of them went to the watery abyss with Sven. Given his favorite hobby was free diving his ‘relaxation’ was focused around pushing limits and boundaries. Most of our copious free hobby time was usually spent in some discussion of philosophy, math,music or making money. He was the most intense nihilist that loved life and living “the great indulgence” more than anyone I knew. He continually said Schrodinger cat is eviscerated not just dead. His computer science skills are now tales of valley folklore. He read hexadecimal like a Dr. Suess book. He was also a very well trained martial artist and an obvious waterman.
Yet I will tell a tale that I remember as it were last week.
Late one night we were involved in a marathon session of billiards on the “purple monster” as we affectionately called my 9 foot purple tiger maple table.
We had a song list in rotation using some software that we created or were testing and laughing how stupid it was to be making money – making something so stupid. Yet I digress. On the playlist came Jimmy Buffet’s “That’s What Living Is To Me” which is based on Following The Equator by Mark Twain, of which both Sven and I would incessantly discuss how Mr. Samuel Clemmons was so beautifully scathing with pen and word. We turned the song up extremely loud and he was screaming the following stanza:
“Be good and you will be lonesome
Be lonesome and you will be free
Live a lie and you will live to regret it
That’s what living is to me”
So while this isn’t some prurient, lurid or debauched tale, it reflects many salient aspects of why I miss my comrade. He despised liars and loved life, as well as being extremely responsible.
One should never tell enemies anything, tell your friends everything and assume enemy until proven otherwise. Sven proved himself a true friend of like mind and for me there are few – as I prefer quality over quantity.
I recently had supper with his beautiful wife and two handsome sons. Amazing the older one looked just like him and the younger one was asking me technical programming questions (still a youngster) in the same cadence as SVEN. They were arguing with each other in the same point-counter point as their dad. I answered patiently and as best I could intently looking and listening to both of them.
I was attempting to catch that cauterized timeline, that time crystallization and for a brief instance – a flash: my comrade was there.
With that I will leave with you a quote, a Sven assertion and a song dedicated to my comrade:
“With heart and hand I pledge you while I load my gun again, you will never be forgotten or the enemy forgiven, my good comrade.”
~ Dr. A. Lavey
“Mediocrity is NOT an option!” ~ Steven Swenson
Comrade, by Blood Axis.
ALL HAIL THE SVEN!