Confusion arises when one is not sure where to go. Which way out of the forest? What is the end point; how do I get there? And what if all one’s efforts to this point, that Elliot-like “still point in time”, have been in vain?
Thank goodness for record keeping! Some instinct had me late last night copy every single Memoir file and its 1,768 scans to the USB stick I’d brought along. This morning before breakfast, when I relocated from my own computer in my room to M’Lady’s machine in the dining room (arraigned with its familiar ghosts) the file I intended to alter opened as usual, but then hung there, out on a limb. The cursor, a batted off bird, would not rest. It would not highlight. It would not budge. And on closing the document up, and trying successive other files as well, the chatterbox-panel each time ‘bing!-ed’ to tell me there was a problem with Windows! A ten to fifteen minute online ‘search for a solution’ closed it down, eventually, but gave me the same frozen outlook each time I tried yet again. Ha! In the middle of the forest, half way there; and there was no apparent way out!
Way back when I was a boy there was a cognitive dissonance exercise I used to like. By process of elimination, by tracing both the impulsive and the planned steps to ‘this point in time’ (a phrase my father ‘hated’) one could come to a decision. Simplistically: which outweighs the other, positive or negative? But life ain’t always that simple. Ringed in the center by-boys-holding-hands the Phys Ed game was to try to break through by slipping under or diving over the arms. Frustrating! It took many attempts at finding the weak spot. But when it comes to computers, you are the weak spot. You are the problem. It does not plot agin’ ya. Just don’t take it personal. Ha!
With no effective Word Program on which to begin to record M’Lady’s Memoir, way back on the Feb 01 eve of arrival, and with no way convenient to get to a computer store, I discovered on day two that I can download Office Premium for $12 a month. So I did! But the files are all stored in iCloud, and the whole thing performed insecurely without additional add-ons to be bought. Then M’Lady’s neighbors on day three gave us Word 2003, with its codes, so I loaded up that. And it clunked away. But on the sixth day M’Lady’s granddaughter arrived with Word 2007, and its codes, and it appeared to upgrade. Inclusion, integration, would have it that all three programs would seamlessly transfer files. Well, it did, for a week, and then got its signals crossed. No, to be fair, I must have crossed its signals. So? A process of elimination! Uninstall the first download. Uninstall the second download. Reboot the computer. Re-register the third download, and... Bingo! Check! Check! And ... Ta-dah!
But not only did it cost me three precious hours this morning, it also brought about a gift. David, M’Lady’s son in law (a year older than me) came after Nancy’s phone-call to take me to purchase Word 2013 (but literally five minutes before his arrival I’d succeeded with a newly aligned rapport between The Old Program and me,) so David stayed for coffee. And he told me his life story. It too ‘would fill a book.” A New Zealander, David is a man who has seen it all, done it all, and is quietly humble and unassuming about it all. A man to learn from, indeed. (But who is not?) We traded pet phrases. He shall use “more better” quite liberally; I shall use “‘sorry’ ain’t no cure!” sparingly, but profoundly. Ha! Men who can afford to be vulnerable bond easily, mate.
Between that last sentence and this very one as I type I’ve taken my first solo excursion into the Australian 10 p.m. dark, alongside this house, albeit with a flashlight. A reticulation pipe has burst; the front yard is flooding! The house has no water pressure. It was a matter of locating the automatic timer and shutting off the valve. It was Nancy, pajama-clad as a fluttering white ghost in the pitch dark, who found it on the front porch! But a woman of 90 has a right to feel panicked. And a man usually in a wheelchair has a right to feel inadequate to the task. We are helpless without knowledge, tools, experience, and ability. How not so then for other souls being lost in the proverbial forest? Having come half way in, most of us needs find help on our way out.
Or does one simply say “sorry, ain’t no cure”?