Dear friends and readers,
Sometime last night the Admiral turned to me and told me he was "cleaning" up (eliminating) a series of files and needed my help to download new "good" ones to replace the bad. "Abuse" at Network solutions had taken down our website (I link to mine only, but Jim has a place and Yvette a large space where she used to put fan-fiction) because it had been hacked.
As you might imagine, the stress was very bad. Very bad night. Our old blog had been attacked by a virus and we had been able to rescue only about a third of it, and at that time the virus had moved into our website and it took days and days to get rid of this pollution: the virus consisted of strange looking codes in the directive stuff at the very top of the page (invisible except on the website source copies). We thought we did clean it all out rather quickly, the Admiral sent a message to Network solutions but our website did not come back. I got through the night by watching movies, specifically the commentary voice-over for the 2004 Bleak House scripted by Andrew Davies.
I got up around 6 and by 6:30 had phoned Network solutions. The admiral's message had not arrived, so we sent it again, and she said the website would be up in 2 hours. It was not. The Admiral said the technicians here not in the office as the office was in Chicago and it was still before 9. I drove Yvette to work today for the first time. We discovered why it takes the bus so long: it goes all roundabout onto the highway and then through Southern Towers where I drove her over the ramp directly. It took me 7 minutes not 25 and instead she took a healthy walk the rest of the way from where I left her off in the bright fresh morning air. I got back & called twice more and by 11 the website was back. When it finally returned, the admiral was able to find more infected files and we spent two more hours cleaning the site and now think it's fine. We were fighting the virus upload by upload. It really got as far as the A sub-directory and A files in other sub-directories but gave out before it reached B. My distress was very strong when I couldn't do anything and I could barely do anything else but try to make the Network solutions people act, but cleaning site one-by-one enabled me to gain a sense of ground & strength again. Powerlessness is a strong cause for depression.
Nothing ever got near Wordpress (Ellen and Jim; Austen reveries) or this livejournal blog The remnants of first blog (see for example travel writing) were again a target . Harmless stuff: The Gates at Central Park; Stonehenge visit, Prior park, Arthurian sites (I know I know it's pure chance, still)
It brought home (as if I need reminding) how fragile is our presence on the Net. Yes we can reach people; we need not have connections, know how to network, be significant or just members of a powerful institutions to publish and probably reach more people nowadays than we would by books or published essays in journals, but all I put up has no permanent concrete presence. IT won't matter when I'm dead of course, but I'd like to keep everything up as long as I can.
On one level my reaction was to remember how it is secondary to what matters, to life (like an income, housing, food, and our life together here in this house and place). It's a record of life not the life itself. I took some photos of our pussycats. Clary among the periodicals on our coffee table:
And Ian on the bookshelves overlooking where Jim has his rocking chair:
I had earlier this week been reading some poetry by Elsa Morante and remembered her poem to
Minna the Siamese
I’ve got a little animal, a cat: her name is Minna.
Whatever I put in a plate, she eats,
and whatever I put in a bowl, she drinks.
Crouching she comes to me, watches me, then sleeps,
so soundly I forget she’s there. But if, then,
grateful, I call her name, in sleep an ear
trembles: her name casts a shadow over her sleep.
To give joy and grace, she has a little guitar;
if I scratch her little head or neck, she sweetly plays.
If I think of the centuries and all that divides us,
I’m afraid. Afraid for me: she knows nothing of this.
But if I see her playing with a string, if I gaze
at her pale blue irises, happiness is mine again.
On holidays, when everyone is merry,
I feel sad for her, that she doesn’t discern between the days.
So that she too will celebrate, for lunch I give her a little fish;
the motive she can’t understand: but joyous, she eats.
Heaven, for love of her, gave her nails and teeth:
but she, so gentle, only uses them in play.
I am taken by sadness at the thought that, even if I were to take her life,
I’d have no trial, no fires of hell, no prison.
I've bought myself Morante's one book of poems, Alibi (a reference to how she tells her tale of her experience of life through masks of characters and stories, her alibis)
On the other following what this really bright student termed Ross Poldark's active idealism (Jacobitism others call it) reactive defiance, I returned to my foremother blogs and postings and managed the hard work of making an alphabetical index. Yes I defied the malevolent gods of viruses with an index! I wrote out goals for the chronology ,and even revised and restructured my front page, eliminating verbiage, making a genuine organization, adding my favorite picture of a Cookie Shop by Nell Blaine.
So my spirit stayed strong through it all -- even now when the image insert/edit on this blog suddenly stopped working so I could only link the picture in.
All's well that ends well? "Don't take life too seriously. No one gets out alive anyway?"