December 11, 2006


Last night when I got home from my weekend gig my computer wouldn't start. No safe mode, no returning to the last functioning configuration, nothing.

It's really something when your computer breaks: no work can get done, you're cut off from communicating, and you keep thinking that all of the notes, papers, unfinished projects, and homilies in there are gone forever.

There's a temptation to anxiety and despair that goes with it, but it only shows that I've put my security into this funny little box filled with text and programs. It makes sense that when we late modern people get nervous about the end of the world, we imagine it in terms of the failure of technology to support us any longer, i.e. the old Y2K problem.

The situation reminds me of one of my favorite sayings of the desert fathers, although I'm not sure it relates:

If a monk knows of a place where he can make progress, but where the necessities of life can only be had with difficulty, and for that reason does not go there, such a monk does not believe in God.

Oh well, I'm taking it to brother computer guy for examination later on this morning.


Jeff said...

Oh, man Friar...

It brings me back almost an entire year exactly. On Christmas Eve, my four year-old son was trying to do something with an old Windows 3.1 game on our XP system, and the whole thing got hosed up somehow. Either that, or there was a virus cleanup that I did that crushed a critical DLL file on the system, which killed it on the next startup. I spent a good part of the week after Christmas and a wee bit of money re-installing Windows XP from scratch and finding all of the right drivers to make everything work again. It wasn't my idea of quality time at home with the family. Not fun at all. Lost a lot of stuff.

I feel for you. Maybe it's time to enjoy one of those most famous of Franciscan dictums, at least temporarily:


Brother Charles said...

Oh Jeff, thanks for the support - your story is terrible. Family and tech problems do not go together well! Every time I visit my parents, fixing the latest audio-visual, computer or telephonic problem is one of my little crosses!