Well, OK, it didn’t exactly “crash.” I mean, there was no hole in the wall. There were no other bleeding computer owners standing around threatening to sue my pants off. Actually, what I did was delete a massive number of massively important files. Massively. So, I took it to an IT expert who was pretty sure he could recover the lost files. Until he couldn’t. Because, apparently while I was googling to see what to do about the lost files my hard drive was happily writing over them.
And so I spent the last three days in cyber purgatory. Three days without a computer. Can you feel my pain? I know you can. Yes, I have a phone. No, it’s not the same. For one thing, I could never use my phone to post a yummy rant like this one. What? You could have? Oh, shut up, you little millennial twit.
My wife has no sympathy. Yesterday, while I might have been online networking with “all my little blogger pals” (no, she didn’t say that, but she thought it), I was forced to go for a walk with her. She always walks. She uses those analog things, those, you know, leg things. And breathes in crisp wintry air. And watches the sun turn rosy-gold against a deepening blue sky, as warm, inviting lights click on in houses…with working computers!
Seriously, I have missed my little blogger pals. So now you know why I couldn’t come out and play for the last three days. I had computer pox!
But I’m sorta glad, too. Like the people whose houses burn to the ground. They stand in their neighbor’s yards shivering, huddling together, full of irrational joy. Because what really matters is that the people they love made it out, even if the furniture and clothes–and computers–didn’t. All of a sudden, in the most visceral way, they’re reminded how much they treasure one another. It’s not like they didn’t already know that. It’s just that they’d come to take it for granted. Because they’re human. And that’s what humans do. Take things for granted, and forget what really matters.
I suspect God may have had a hand in this little cyber conflagration, this “hey, Mitch, look over here” moment. It is, after all, the eve of Ash Wednesday, the day when millions symbolically burn some unnecessary distraction, mark an ashy cross on their foreheads, and begin the Lenten season–the season of remembering what matters.
What else do I need but the people I love, and the God who made them? Well, OK, a working computer with fully restored files would be nice.
But in a pinch…