So sometimes technology is like a big ole lump of clay for me to sculpt and make my own and, when it works, I’m in love with it. Like here for instance.
But sometimes technology is a big ole sack of chaos. Ruled by squirrelly electrical current and a crappy wiring job by the folks that built your house. 95% of the time we fair quite well in this department. Other times we end up with situations much like what I encountered last weekend when the external hard-drive that makes duplicates of all the files we truly care about, ended up sounding like a chirping “something” trapped in a sealed box of glass and sand.
Truly a double edged sword.
And it’s a perfect example of my love-hate relationship with it. It at once fits firmly within my value system (replacing many wonderful, yet wasteful products like books, CD’s, DVD’s etc…) all the while fostering a creativity that I’ve had and loved my entire life. It’s held all of my precious words, music and media for years faithfully, but it’s also turned it’s back on me with absolutely no warning, trashing everything in mere seconds. I’ve truly been devastated by it (I once lost 45 pages of a book I was writing. It wasn’t the whole book mind you, but still…) and I’ve learned a lot from those nutty little losses. But as much as I’ve lost, I’ve gained so much more.
Take news for instance. Because we don’t have cable, my information in life is strictly internet-based and with the apex of RSS feeds (or Twitter for the matter), I get fed only the information I seek. This leaves me to think for myself and find both sides of every story. My hobbies and passions are almost completely electronic now and because of this, I’ve found and read about so much more than I ever would’ve learned about otherwise. It makes a lot of material things seem bulky (physically and spatially) and, for most part, I don’t miss their physical counterparts. Not at all actually.
But (and there’s always a “but” when you talk about such things) even the light weight brain-stimulating zeroes and ones I play and make a living with, could ever replace holding Mel’s hand (or simply looking at her), hiking in the woods, feeling the sun on my face and a breeze between my fingertips, hugging a friend, helping someone in need, using my hands in the garden, scratching my pets behind the ears, looking up at stars, singing, dancing (even if I’m horrible at it), all of it… all those things you carry in your head and heart, right now and down the road. You can’t hold any of it. But that, in my opinion, is what makes up a life that’s worth genuinely smiling about.
These things constantly leave me with the sense of the immense importance of the balance of it all. The importance of unplugging and engaging life with all 5 senses. Being a geek for this tech stuff, it’s real hard sometimes. But those wants and needs aren’t any more important than the other stuff. I hear it all the time but it’s so damn true: life isn’t always fair and sure as hell isn’t easy sometimes.
It’s often sharing a vista with someone you love but it also can be attending a funeral. It’s hearing your favorite band under the autumn stars or helping a loved one through a really rough patch. It’s a life that’s yours and yours to live how you choose. It’s more than the sum of it’s parts.
Broken hard-drives and all. 😉