Things go wrong; that’s just a reality. I’m not talking about the result of machinations to fuck people over, or screw up others’ plans and hard work, but instead the times when… well, things just go wrong. When it’s no-one’s fault, per se, but just what happens sometimes and you deal with whatever’s happened and move on. It’s a simple, if frustrating, fact of life.
This site disappeared for a bit, a few weeks ago. Not a long time — an hour or so, maybe? But it vanished, entirely; something went wrong somewhere on the internet, and any attempt to reach it was met with messages explaining why that was impossible, that the server wasn’t available, that you couldn’t get here. R.E.M.’s “Can’t Get There From Here” played somewhere to underscore the possibility, just in case the blunt, dry message onscreen wasn’t enough.
The why of it all wasn’t the issue, really; my web host was having trouble for whatever reason. Maybe it was being attacked by raccoons, perhaps they had a power outage, or someone tripped over a cable and unplugged something. It wasn’t anything I had any control over, so a lot of me has this feeling of, what actually happened wasn’t really that important.
What felt more important, though, was the sense of immediate loss I felt every time I refreshed the page and couldn’t get to the site. At first, I thought it was just the back end that had failed, as I was trying (and failing) to write something, but then I realized everything was… gone. It was an odd, disorienting, feeling — I’ve often said that I’m not entirely sure why I post here, but at least I now know that, if everything here was to suddenly disappear, I’d feel a deep and impressively sharp loss, as if I’d literally lost a part of myself.
That’s melodramatic, I know — especially as the site returned soon enough, as if nothing had happened — but the experience made me realize how important this small, relatively private, place to wonder and ponder and write just to write had become to me, and how much I get some undefinable, yet very real, joy and value from it. Somewhere, the ghost of Joni Mitchell is exasperatedly going, “What did I say about not knowing what you got ‘til it’s gone?” but, well, there’s a reason people liked that song so much, and it wasn’t just her laugh at the end.
Website, thank you for your service. Don’t go away again, please.