Learning to Let Lena Go

Learning to Let Lena Go December 12, 2011

You don’t know Lena, although she has a big part in the creation of this blog. Lena is my laptop, and this month she turns 4 years old. I’m a little broken up about it.

Lena has served me faithfully for years. She’s old. It’s getting to be time for her to go. She’s helped me blog, write articles, create badly recorded podcasts, join conference calls, create blogs, customize images and write numerous e-mails. It was via Lena I got to interview presidential candidate Gary Johnson, and via Lena that I’ve had the pleasure of communicating with Pagan luminaries. Lena has survived Pagan festivals, conferences, plane trips, car trips and a few late nights on World of Warcraft. She’s even sat with me in a basement pulling up radar and weather reports as tornadoes passed through my region.

I have spent an immeasurable number of hours of the last few years in this position, just me and lena.

I remember finding her amidst a sea of uninspiring laptops and the lengths I went to to find a Fry’s that actually had her in stock. A Toshiba Satellite on sale for the holidays, she had impressive specs for her price. Even today I’ve not come close to using all of her memory, and her speakers can still rock ‘n’ roll with the best of them. Her case was sleek, classy and deep, glossy black then. Her stylish looks and fantastic speakers led me to name her after the great Lena Horne.

But Lena ain’t the girl she used to be. This daily companion who has seen me through relationships, different jobs, a stretch of unemployment and more Pagan related internet than even I can comprehend, is on her last leg. Different bits of her are beginning to fail. She is slowly falling apart and I need more patience to accomplish anything with her. She’s dying, right before my eyes.

It’s breaking my heart. I don’t how I will replace her, either financially or emotionally. She’s become more than a machine to me. She is the eyes through which I see much of the world. And her eyes are failing. One day my gentle coaxing and patience will no longer be enough for her to boot up. Maybe one day her screen will freeze and that will be the end of it. It’s a scary thought, that my voice as you perceive it here might go silent due to the death of a machine. How strangely human it makes me feel, to know that my voice unaided has such a limited reach, not far beyond the walls of my home.

I’m sure I will come up with some way of replacing her financially. I’m sure at the very worst I could try a fundraising drive. There will eventually be new machine and it will have it’s own name. But emotionally it would be hard to replace Lena. Like the glasses on my face, this piece of technology has become a part of me. It’s like my horse. I possess this digital and mechanical creature and it carries me to far off lands. It has a personality. It has quirks. It has a name.

So while you are still able to let me type out these words across your screen: Thank you Lena. Without you, I wouldn’t be able to accomplish a tiny fraction of what I do. For your service and companionship, I am very grateful.

UPDATE: So after consulting with both bloggers and divinatory tools, I’m going to try fundraising for a new machine. I’m soon to take a financial loss in order to be able to focus on Pagan media (which has increasingly taken a back seat over the past year) and I may be taking on a new project, which although it may have an incredibly positive effect for the Pagan community, will likely have a negative effect on my personal resources.

So, I know it’s the holiday season, but if you feel moved to keep me in working tech you can send a donation via PayPal or Dwolla to starling.foster@gmail.com with a note that it’s for the laptop fundraiser. I feel tacky for asking, but I would be very grateful if this helps solve my problem. I’m working on a project that I hope becomes an important gift back to the community soon, so I hope that even if you don’t see it now, in a couple of months you see the worth of keeping me connected and online. Thanks!

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