I've seen things you people wouldn't believe . . . attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I've watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time . . . like tears, in rain.
—Blade Runner (1982)
This past weekend the unspeakable occurred.
My laptop was stolen.
Did I have an external hard drive with back-ups of all my files? Of course. And was it plugged into the computer when it was swiped? Of course.
It was not as horrible a fate as losing someone you love, but considering the anguish I felt (and still feel) in my heart, it was pretty close. It contained 5 years of my work . . . 5 years of my life.
If you're a regular reader of my blog, you can probably guess that i'm a collector of images. An archivist heart-set on preserving the beauty of the past. So in my hoarding of visual inspiration, I had acquired, scanned and actually photographed with my own camera, literally hundreds-upon-thousands of images, all meticulously categorized into dated folders by subject. I'd been planning posts for the next 50 years of my life, on everything I adore, including all the vintaging adventures around the U.S., that my husband and I have taken since 2006.
Not to mention that the entire manuscript and years of research for my next book, Vintage NY, is GONE.
Now Cher and I have something in common, aside from our love of feathers, the wish that we could "turn back time". All I can do, and all any of us can do when suffering a loss, is to learn from it, and pay heed to the messages that the cosmos are sending.
~ Guard your laptop bag with your life, at all times (most especially if it contains 5 yrs. of treasured photos).
~ Have an external hard drive that is backed-up daily, and never leaves your house.
~ Uploading photos to Flickr is important.
~ Don't spend 80% (or more) of your life looking into an LED screen.
~ Thieves are living in a continuous circle of shitty life choices and horrible karma.
~ Unless your sole purpose in life is to be an image archivist, get out there and breathe the air, take a walk, hop on a plane, make something with your hands, kiss your friend, and in the words of Auntie Mame, "LIVE, LIVE, LIVE!"
And if any of you kind souls have any photos of us together over the past 5 years, or any inspirational images you'd like to donate, it would help in rebuilding my heart's database (remember, I lost EVERYTHING). Moving on . . .
Photo: Greta Garbo in Anna Christie (1931) from Garbo Forever