Friday, August 25, 2006

Of Loss and Longing

Finally, after 6 months of using my I pod, I've had my first Apple nightmare. I guess it was bound to happen at some point. I am by now quite used to the Microsoft Windows nightmares that I am subjected to on an almost daily basis, when, for no apparent reason my computer decides to re-start at the precise moment at which I'm saving a 32 page document.

This latest one, however, snuck up on me. Even now, as I try and re-create the sequence of events in my head, I am still not sure what happened. All I know for sure is that 15000 songs were deleted in less than 2 seconds. It was all over before I even knew it had begun, so fast that my head still spins just thinking about it.

15000 songs. Collected over 6 months, each one bought, borrowed, stolen, and then lovingly saved, copied, sorted, and tagged. All gone at the click of a mouse. I was left feeling bereft, hurt, violated. Empty as a shell. I tried feebly to remember those songs, where they came from, would I find them again, could I, piece by piece, note by fractured note, put my collection back together once more?

How easily, I remember thinking, the things we love are taken away from us. Just when we start thinking that perhaps we might hold onto them for ever, they're snuffed out. Our stories and our songs. Our hopes and our dreams. Everything we hold dear sinks without a trace and inevitably leaves us clutching at memories, seeking comfort in the vaguely familiar fragments of a life that once was. Like the tune of a song we know we've heard somewhere but can't quite place.

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