So my hard drive crashed.
I’d lost everything I’d done in the month of July because I hadn’t backed it up. Dropped it down a couple stairs, and I was lucky enough to have it fight through another week. It fought through that week when I needed it most, which was a blessing. But the week’s false sense of security led to only surprise when it finally quit, and the data was gone.
Data which included the video I’d shot at camp, the video I’d shot for my how to play Gooberball video, and, most heartbreaking, the video of my girlfriend’s puppy Skye on the fourth of July.
I held out some hope by running a recovery scan on my computer, to dig up files I’d trashed two weeks before, and the process was poetic.
Amanda Palmer tweeted a few weeks ago that Jung wanted Twitter.
Jung being the early 20th century psychologist who theorized the collective unconscious, laying the foundation for theories about recurring elements of stories across cultures. Anyone who studied Campbell’s Hero’s Journey in high school understands this framework.
Palmer said Jung wanted Twitter because Twitter is a continuous snapshot of the world, two sentences at a time. What people are thinking, doing, eating, and consuming.
As I went through the recovered fragments of the scan, I realized that Jung wanted more than Twitter; He wanted hard drive crashes.
Here am I, on a sweaty summer afternoon, desperately paging through movie and mp4 files, searching for a lost puppy, trying to resurrect something I killed. But in-between, I only find snapshots. Peculiar, too. There were half-second video clips of people at a beach, running about with young women on their shoulders. There were stills of smiling adults and B-roll footage of foreign docks and cities. I have no idea where this stuff came from. Likely it was B-roll movie clips included in editing software and extras for DVD burning programs. But these weren’t clips from my life. From a Coke commercial, maybe.
But here I am, trying to resurrect the dead, searching about in a strange underworld brought to light, and though there are snippets of my past (recent music albums I’d tossed after duplicating, old photos, recent documents), here are fragments from someone else’s past. Many someone else’s.
It’s as if I reached into some collective whole and brought out a shattered mirror that not only reflected myself, my own history, but the world’s too.