Friday, 6 September 2013

All Fixed

On Monday the computer crashed. On Wednesday I got it back, pretty much fixed and ready to go; it was only only a couple of days, but it was a revelation. During Tuesday I lived with the possibility that I wasn't going to get any data off the hard drive, and found that I was not actually all that bothered. There is a pile of old sermon notes but I hardly ever refer to them any more. There are a few hundred Power Point presentations, made to go with the sermons and they also don't get looked at much. There are countless folders of word processing files, copied from computer to computer all the way back to the Atari ST I owned in the 1980s and they are of interest sometimes - old letters and plans and notes and essays. There is a book I sporadically work on, but I'm not optimistic about finishing it. And there are the photos, thousands of the things. Most of them have been seen only by me and most of them are junk. There are, admittedly, a few that I am quite fond of but it's a very long time since I dreamed of being Richard Avendon or Ansel Adams and on Tuesday I knew the world would be no poorer for the loss of a couple of thousand pictures of sunsets and beach scenes and picturesque rural cottages.

I got it home late in the afternoon. and set it up on my desk and made a cup of tea. All the programs were gone but the data files had been restored and were all present. At least, I think they are; I had a quick flick through the photos, and made sure the music was there, but to tell the truth, I haven't yet opened any of the document files. It took me until about midnight to uninstall all the programs that Mr. Asus thought I would be pretty keen on owning and to put back the ones I thought I might like to have. I set up an account with Carbonite and started copying everything to the cloud - two days later, after continually uploading, 30% of it has made the journey. I plugged in a new external drive and made a proper image of the contents of my two drives.  But why?

I find myself bemused by all this accumulation of data and this drive to record and keep things, even as I am sitting up late to do it. Perhaps I am a little clearer about the reasons for recording images. One  is to help people explore who they are and where they come from, which is what family snaps are about. Another is a little more subtle. The world is an astonishingly beautiful place. Everyday it bombards us with an impermanent, ever shifting kaleidoscope of colours and textures and shapes and forms and relationships. Every minute, or perhaps every second there is some new vista which opens up to show the beauty in which we are continually steeped. Oddly, some people, don't seem to notice and that's where I come over all evangelical. Perhaps if I try hard enough; perhaps if I learn enough about how the light falls and how my machinery can capture it, then I can make an image which freezes one small current of the Heraclitean flux for long enough that someone can see what is there - not there in the photo but there in the Universe, everywhere and all the time. Truth is beauty, beauty truth. Taking pictures is a way for me to try and see the truth and try to tell it. And perhaps the few dozen times when I have managed to do that a little bit is worth the 50,000  times I have failed.

No comments: