defragging the hard drive

I swear today was metaphoric.

My computer crashed,  and it has been crashing more often. It is a mac, so this whole thing is weird and unexpected. So I backed it up on a new external drive, and set about defragging the hard drive.

As I watched the perhaps completely BS graphical representation of the process, it struck me just how much this feels necessary for me too.  Little bits and pieces stored here and there, slow to make connections, too far apart to see the relationship clearly. Dependencies are messed up, so are permissions…

So I watched the re-ordering of the information into something neat and tidy and compact.  Something “optimized”. It took forever.  While it worked and worked and worked and became more and more orderly, I started to realize, that, for me, some amount of chaos is necessary. Some amount of mess. A little tangle. A bit of mystery.  A bit of serendipity. So when I bitch to any of you about this in the future, please feel free to tell me to go back and read this, ok?

The fact is, yes, some coalescence is a really good thing. I need to feel/see/believe that pieces and parts are connected.  But I also feel like sometimes you can only see new connections when you mix it up a bit.

Imagine taking a bunch of words– some qualifiers (adjectives) some things or ideas (nouns)










And make some random connections:

open self

soft courage  (ooh I like these!)

gentle imagination

kind creativity


It was chance that threw these together, and one ah-ha came of it!


Soft courage.
It is those moments, the moment when I spill my paint, and make something Else than I expected, the moment you mis-type and realize the new word is better than the old, or you are misunderstood and the person listening thinks you are infinitely more clever than you are…  oh there is such potential for beauty in a little fragmentation, a little chaos, a little randomness, a little chance.


It’s a little chance my open self welcomes with soft courage.


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One thought on “defragging the hard drive

  1. What a great post, Kate.

    I was really able to relate. I spent my morning cleaning, folding, organizing and feeling relieved and grateful that here, mother nature had stepped in and forced me to miss work, giving me the opportunity to accomplish these tasks. The house had really gotten out of control. Mid day, after I finished lunch and placed the last dirty dish in the dishwasher, I noticed a pattern develop in my movements. I was pacing back and forth. Sure I was admiring the clean house, but I was unable to sit down and relax. Finally I went out and did some errands. When I got back there was mail to be brought in, groceries to put away, laundry to fold. I could not accomplish all of these things at once so I did a little of each. I settled into each partial task unaware that I was messing the place up. By the time I was ready for bed I was relaxed and absolutely certain that I was home.

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