shot in the dark

yesterday, while i was writing my blog and searching the internet, my computer got a virus.  instantly, my feet went numb, my heart started pounding, all my muscles clenched, i broke into a sweat.  luckily, i recognized the culprit, a nasty trojan disguised as "xp total security" that popped up to tell me i had umpteen million infections and i would have to dump in my credit card numbers in order to fix the problem.  out of fear, cures cost money, you know, some people might make that mistake.  well aware of what i was dealing with, i logged off, jumped onto "james's side" of the computer (which is remarkably clean and well kept) and was able to search down a remedy on the internet, not before accidentally downloading another virus posing as a patch.  start to finish, the entire ordeal cost me oh, maybe two hours.  in the thick of preparing for two art shows going up tomorrow, the timing was sickeningly bad.  that was two hours of my life i would like to have back, please.

there are few things in life that make me feel so helpless as getting a virus, real or virtual.  searching for a remedy for my computer before it crashed and burned, ironically, reminded me of how the folks in japan must feel, reminded me all too well of the days when mom wasn't well... maniacal moments of i'll try anything desperation.   back then, i spent half of my time coming up with hopeful antidotes, the other half, nose in a natural healing book, digging for answers.  what i found was: some questions don't have obvious or concrete answers, questions like where does disease come from and how do we fix it?  i could imagine the burden mom's doctor must have felt, looking into the eyes of a hopeful family, knowing damn well that her treatment was experimental, a last ditch effort, and that the very best he could do wasn't any better than a shot in the dark.  i remember mom saying once, "that's why they call it medical practice."  always a sharply sarcastic sense of humor, that one.  but it was true, and she was right: science, the science of computers, machines, and people, however revolutionary it may be, is truly imperfect.


  1. Amen. So glad that we have that practice though. Yesterday I was in my office, and one of our scientists came by my office with a big grin and a small vial. The vial was our new antibody, targeted at migraine prevention, which has the potential to radically change my day to day life. Of course, only about one in ten products that make it to that stage actually make it to a marketed product, and beyond that, we know that not all the products on the market are actually good.

    It's a weird world we live in, where we try to control our destinies that way, whether it's with herbal remedies, or nutrition or the hard stuff of western medicine. But we humans seem to be about trial and error, at our core, and I love that about us. Keeps me showing up every day, at work and everywhere else, including here. You have the prettiest practice I can imagine, and it is its own kind of medicine.

  2. Also, I love the ways that we are always trying to save each other. :-)