Two things died last Tuesday. Both close. Both personal. Both without notice. My macbook and a relative.
If you’ve converted to Macs then you’d know how comparatively simple and hassle-free things become after the transition from a PC. 4 years on my current macbook and I’ve had zilch problems. Never. None. Completed numerous projects on it. It traveled on my back to the highest altitudes on the globe and back without so much as a hiccup. And so basking in this cocoon of certainty, I thought I could take on an upgrade and change over to the new Yosemite OS without any IT support. So sure I was that it would work that I didn’t bother doing a final backup before installing the new system (which took almost 12 hours to download). Right in front of my eyes, my computer after a long cricking fight, died.
heavens Apple inc. for their Time Machine, I was able to retrieve almost everything except one. My emails. Work emails. Almost 20,000 of them. Like everything. Because Windows based Entourage saves emails in a ‘funny’ format (nothing funny to me by the way). They were gone. I fretted and panicked. Calmed down. Chocked myself with an almost anxiety attack. Then repeated the process. Tried the web hosts (arseholes-who-do-keep-copies-on-their-server-but-still-say-they-don’t-keep-copies-on-their-server). Tried to find a mac technician in my small balmy town of Nadi where most techies have never heard of Entourage. Downloaded a recovery software which took longer to download than Yosemite…
But my emails were gone and I had a hard time letting it sink in. Every 5 minutes I’d remember another piece of communication (... that architects instruction came at 4.40pm when the concrete pour happened at 3.30pm and I needed that to fuck him over with a variation…) and I spent the next 3 days in such panicked haze. So much so that I barely remembered that there was a death in the family. I vaguely remember the 3-hour drive to Rakiraki on Thursday morning to attend his funeral.
What I do remember is standing amongst the crowd staring at the open corpse lying on a traditional Indian bamboo stretcher. It was only then I thought about my relative who had died. It was only then I remembered visiting him a day before he died and how happy he was to see us. It was only then I remembered him laughing and posing with us for a selfie. And it was only then I remembered how he kept waving from his place long after we had walked away…and by then they had lifted his body and he was gone forever, leaving behind wailing echoes in the mountain valley that used to be his home.
And I am deeply ashamed that of the 2 things that died last Tuesday, I was more distressed about my computer. With utmost regret, dear reader, I must point out that almost 3/4 of this post is apportioned to me passionately describing loosing my emails. Though not my closest, I hardly have anything remorseful to write about my deceased relative. When did we become so detached, dear reader? When did such immaterial matters start taking over our lives and meaning more to us than people? When did I reattach myself to such trivialities I thought I had walked away from?
It’s a week now from the funeral. My email is up and running. So far I haven’t needed any of those 20,000 lost emails to move forward. The important ones are being resent. Work is progressing as scheduled. Deadlines are being met. But somewhere in Rakiraki, life is not going as planned. Someone is gone.
Not all things are recoverable and those that are, may not be as important as you think.