Personal history. We have it, or do we? And for how long? Or do we want it? Or is it selectively cataloged in the recesses of our minds . . .
When I fired up the desktop today I was presented with a new crash. Oddly, the computer would not recognize my profile password, and since no one else uses this computer there was no other profile to try opening. No way to get inside the machine.
Fortunately, I was able to use my laptop to find a fix. And with one computer sitting next to the other, I walked through the steps of changing some mysterious line in the registry. Problem fixed. Except, I also read that many people had problems with lost data and files after “fixing” the problem.
Mine appear to be intact so I am now backing up files, photos, etc. to an external hard drive. Everything I can think of. It looks like this will take all day.
So here I am on the laptop. Thankful I have it.
What if all the data had been lost? Bits and pieces are saved on flash drives, SD cards, and that external hard drive. But for how long? How long do these devices last before they decay? And even if intact, if I wasn’t here to access them, who would be able to find my files? Look at all those digital pics? Piece together the puzzle that is me? We store our lives digitally now.
We go through life similarly. We are one in billions, and while I do believe we are all connected, just who can access us? And what do we want people to know?
Personal history. It’s baggage we carry. Some of it might be shiny objects, other bits, dark clouds. But it is all us. Who we are.
And how much do we share? How much is forgotten? And how much is spun into webs that never existed? Always prettier than the original version. Everything symmetrical. Ordered. Explained.
Did you ever notice how when you start a new job people want to know about you? All your details. Did you ever try and remain secretive? It drives people crazy. It’s like they want the goods on you. Someway to think they have control. Oh yeah, they know that new guy. Know what makes her or him tick. Know how to push their buttons. Know their strengths and weaknesses. Where they’ve come from and where they’re going.
Or can they possibly know anything?
Can you really “know” someone else? Sure we share parts of ourselves. But not all of our pasts. All of our thoughts. All of our feelings. How could we?
And do we want to be remembered when we’re gone? If so how?
She was a “good person.” One line to sum up a lifetime.
I’d like the people I’ve loved to remember me. But when they’re gone, there will be no record. Just like the computer was wiped clean. No data. We were never here.
Or will we leave some lasting effect? A ripple through time and space? Perhaps a few words floating in cyberspace?
I guess we should experience all we can. Share as much as we dare. Hope we are loved. And love ferociously. Because one day, all the data, all that personal history will be gone. No profile password to magically access it . . .
Photo: An old ranch in the middle of a remote spot in the southwest. The family long deceased. Given to the state for perpetuity to preserve as a landmark. A moment in history that loses significance with each passing day. How long before it returns to dust? There is no permanence.