It's been a strange two days. I hardly know who I am anymore, or what I've been doing. I must seek clues in what I see around me. Empty coffee cup. Paper towel with jelly stains. Shiny anti-static wrapper. Screwdriver. PC card slot placeholders. Two tiny screws. Computer manuals. Receipt from CMS Peripherals, Inc. with "You bastards will die!!!" scrawled on it in red crayon. Hmmm. That's my handwriting. What's been going on?
Ah, it all is starting to come back now...my eeensyweensy 20GB notebook hard drive had become filled to overflowing with my verbiage, and those endless Windows XP service pack/security/critical/must-have-or-you-are-doomed updates. So I had ordered a mega-hunky 60GB drive from Dell, and a supposedly simple means of transferring all the stuff from eensy-weensy to mega-hunky. You know, one of those pieces of software with a name like "one-step" or "easy-link," which, I can now testify, usually turn out to involve dozens of steps (if you're lucky), or a not-so-easy journey through the gates of computer hell (if you're not so lucky, as I was).
It's interesting though, what being backed into an existential No Exit corner can do to you, when there seems to be no hope, because everything you've tried to resolve the problem leads to another problem, and the Gods of Tech Support are not dispensing the hoped-for grace. I found myself at 5:30 pm completely befuddled, ready to take a sledgehammer to the Inspiron 8200 and go back to pencil, paper, a filing cabinet, and a manual typewriter. Then, a sort of satori hit, the lightning flash of illumination that I'd rather have heal my soul, but if it can heal my computer, heck, I'll take that.
Later I'll write about how all this relates to the creative process, some interesting connections I found in a science magazine article. Bottom line: frustration is a great thing, when it leads to breaking through the barriers that made you frustrated in the first place. Nobody tries to get out of jail unless they hate being in jail.