Thursday, February 08, 2007

Dying young

They say that Architecture is an old man’s profession; your peak comes late in life, as you are beginning to see shades of gray. They say that success in this profession requires patience, persistence, and a good deal of time.

But, sometimes, time runs out. And you are left to wonder about what might have been; what accomplishments, innovations, might have been achieved had someone been given the opportunity.

In a startling piece of news, a classmate of mine passed away last weekend. In a small class like ours, we all knew each other fairly well, though we each had our particularly close friends. And thought he and I were not close, the news of his passing strikes me; knowing that one member of our band will never again join us seems utterly surreal. It is just too early.

My memories of him will always include his unrelenting need to examine and question; he took it upon himself to uncover the way things work, nothing taken at face value. He was dogged in his dedication to discovery, often ignoring class deadlines to pursue personal questions. And the results - beautiful, elaborate models that would always leave you just a bit in awe.

Though I did not know him as well as others did, I do know this: given time, great things would have emerged from his inquisitive mind. But time was something taken away from him, and so, as with so many others that we lose, we can only imagine what might have been. How might the profession benefited from his ideas, his talents, his passions? And how might we have grown by having him here with us?

I’ll leave with a tribute written by a fellow classmate; we can only hope to have such great words spoken about us.

Hi everyone,

I am writing to let you all know that my great friend Jarek has passed away. He froze to death hiking in the
Andes, in Argentina on Sunday, February 4. I don't know the details. His mother is taking him back to Poland and he will be buried sometime next week.

I don't know what he would want me to say, but as one of his closest friends, I'll tell you what I thought of him. He was a genius. He was loyal. He was honest. He wanted to know everything, and made a point to find everything out for himself. He tried everything. He imagined, created and destroyed daily. He was well read and well spoken, his opinions were obvious. He was naive and genuine, and a beautiful soul. His death is a loss for all of us, in one way or another, and a loss for humanity or at least architecture. His work has been progressing, and his ideas about construction and detail were intriguing and never ending. He inspired me and was one of the few people who's opinion I really valued. I believed in him, and that's why the news of his death is so shocking to me, I thought he could do anything. I spent a good amount of time with him, I wish more, and I will miss him for the rest of my life.

Love those that are close to you.



Blogger flanthrower said...

Sorry to hear about your friend. I think unexpected deaths (particularly of younger friends or family) is especially hard to deal with.

12:37 PM  

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