The reason: My hard drive has died. Kaput. Gone. Swimming with the fishies. It made a terrible death gurgle that out-screeched the TV, flipped M and me and then it was good night. Metaphorically speaking. (No way M was going to bed after that drama.)
About a year ago, Hilary (she of doctor and friendship and great taste fame) had a terrible break in at her home. The criminals got away with ten thousand bucks worth of stuff. Mere stuff to them but beautiful, loved heirlooms according to Hil and her family. The worst loss, bar none, was that of the computer. This isn't because Hil loves the computer so desperately that she can't bear to be without it. No, indeed. The computer stored all of her photos, those of her children from birth and on, those of great times and places.
There was no back up. Hilary's husband apparently made one but it was somehow lost in the chaos of the burglary. It was very hard accepting this.
Hilary bore up to the loss and violation with tremendous grace. It took months to set things right again and with young kids and 2 jobs, it was not easy. Never mind managing the emotional after effects... (She has worked ceaselessly to amass photos from others - fairly successfully - since then.)
I mention this because not one year ago I observed this hideous experience - the pain of losing everything meaningful on one's computer - and yet, absurdly, I did not have a back up of the thousands of photos and - more to the point - writing on my own computer.
Let's feel free to debate my foolery. I mean, to make matters categorically more idiotic, my husband runs two businesses that provide (among other things) infallible back up solutions for computers. It's not like I don't understand the value in taking steps to save one's important objects. I'm a girl with 8 forms of insurance. I'm the uber-administrative parent. I've signed my donor card. I'm responsible.
But somehow, every time I said to Scott, I really need to back this thing up. Could you do that for me? (yes, it's totally passing the buck) he'd say, Just get a disk, there's one on the third floor. You know how to do it, and it wouldn't happen. It would be 11 pm after a day that had started at 6:30 am encompassing zillions of obligatory, tiresome activities and I just let it slide.
And now I have the opportunity to reflect on my laziness at leisure.
I'm not a girl who deals with loss well. (Few do, I recognize, but I've got a whole life history predisposing me to hover at the margins in the face of change. It's not like stability was the hallmark of my early life.) And yet, I'm feeling reasonably sanguine about this. I've lost things. They're gone. They won't be coming back. And that's ok.
It's not like when your parents leave your adopted country and you're 19 and you know it's for good and you're the only member of your family left behind. It's not like when your dearest friend moves away - and you know it's for good - and a little piece of yourself curls up in the corner in a heap. It's not like when you fear desperately that your new baby is going to die and there's not a thing you can do except wait and pray. It's not like when you're 4 and your well-meaning (but young and clueless) parents move you half way around the world to suit the tide-change of their lives without bothering to mention it to you in advance. It's not like continuing to move, again and again, year after year, struggling to forge an identity in the absence of constancy in the presence of terrible anxiety.
It's just some words and pictures and music. Last time I checked, all that moving made me good at starting again.
So here goes.