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August 22, 2006
mach arom -8/22/06 we were just talking about mach when johanna peeked into the room to tell us that he had just died. he was on a hike in rwanda, working on a non profit project for the agency when it happened. he just died. it happened completely unexpectedly. he was not even 40. he packed so very much into his lifetime. he worked so incredibly hard, pushing himself and others much further than they knew they could go. hmm... he died doing what he loved. a friend says it much better. -----a few days later---- okay, so now that a few days have passed i am starting to somehow very slowly maybe begin to hope to understand. mach has left this planet because he has to complete a different mission somewhere else. or maybe two missions. maybe three. he will need to help someone become better at what they do. he will help many. in many ways. in ways they do not yet even know. mach was the master of multitasking, wasn't he? one could be in a meeting with him, in his office, and he would be talking and IMing a friend (or several) and at the same time critique and tell jokes and rewrite copy. (one of his goals was to become a better copywriter. well, he was not a copy writer when he started this journey, but it was a journey and he wanted to get far.) so mach was a serious multitasker. and he was an incredibly hard worker as well. and he made everybody around him work in ways they had no idea they could ever... i mean... he really pushed some rocks onto one's path and so one had to learn and one had to learn quickly. that big statue of ganesh was there for a reason. "you will learn to find new paths, my friend," it said. and then the paths would multiply and in the end one would end up with something rather unexpected, in most cases much better than the original idea... and hmm... a sense of accomplishment. we worked in two agencies together and we could have as well worked in two worlds together and maybe be four completely different people as well. so there were different kinds of mach in that one mach. very different kinds of mach. (I maybe "knew" three...) it is more than a year ago that we last shook hands. and he said that we will meet somewhere anyway. and yes, we will. i just want to first manage to reach the age mach managed to pack into his life... hmm... that does not feel possible at all... only he could do it... by stuffing several days into each 24hours and by allowing a large group of people to live portions of these days mach must have been at least 130 when he was called to help on that next mission. i have the feeling he is already working somewhere. he is already arranging and organizing something somewhere. probably several things at once. and there is a statue of ganesh in the room and there are some comfortable (and some less comfortable) chairs arranged around a table with some exotic candy on it. i could bet he is out there again. oh, and that part of his life that he left for all of us? that's the part that will keep us growing for a really good while... many years... hmm... probably longer. and better... and yet he is also the guy who brought starbucks to dumbo... okay, one more thing... he also wrote this (on his very short lived secret blog.): "my mind likes to question what's right, what's wrong, discover what i could be doing better and hopefully learn something along the way." and "maybe life isn't just about getting from one place to another at 65 miles per hour (except in pennsylvania). maybe its about taking the next exit and not really know whats going to happen at the end of the road." maybe there just is no real end of the road?