time lapse of stars whirling in a circle behind a white painted pavilion

The Portal of the Pavilion: An Epic Commemoration of my Victory over Technology

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

I bought my computer in December of 2003. It is an HP Pavilion and has been a one-hundred-percent reliable workhorse for almost nine years. It is old and starting to slow down, but I have always been patient with it. The last few days the power button started sticking, making it difficult to turn on.

This morning I couldn’t get the power to turn on at all. I sat for awhile contemplating how much I use my computer for and how grateful I am that this tiny little relatively inexpensive machine is such a powerhouse. It is my research library, my shopping mall, my post office, my home office, my movie theatre, my journal, my sketch pad; it is my portal into most of the dimensions that I live and work in every day. Sure I get out of the house once in a while to teach students, work with clients and lead meetups. But none of those people would find me without our mutual virtual connection.

I need to get my newsletter out today. I remember when I was in high school doing the church newsletter with my mother. I would watch her use rubber cement to paste onto a piece of paper clippings of articles and simple images cut from a book of clip art. The rubber cement would stick but not dry right away so we could move something if we needed to rearrange the items. I thought this was brilliant. When the layout was complete we would make copies on the xerox and mail them out.

When I was in middle school, my sixth grade homeroom did a weekly newspaper. I remember hand-printing articles onto special mimeograph paper and then the teacher would make copies in the office on the mimeograph machine and she would bring them back all purple and smelling that weird inky unpleasant but addictive scent.

My grandfather was a printer. He died before I was born. But for some reason I always visualized him handsetting type—I don’t even know if that was a common printing process at that time or not. But that’s what I picture. I always felt like printing was in my blood.

So I need to get my computer going again. I sit down on the floor, pull the tower out from under the desk, unplug the power cord. How the heck does this thing come apart? Hmm. These look designed to be unscrewed by hand; I’ll start here. Take off the side panel. Victory! I can do this!!

I get the vacuum and suck out the Fuzzy Kitten fur, look, here’s instructions for taking off the front panel. How the heck… oh, I see… Removed. Yes, the plastic tabs that hold the switch cover are broken in two places. How about the switch itself? I blow away more cat hair. Ironically there is a little OK sticker stuck to it from someone who kindly tested it over 9 years ago. I plug the power back in and push at the switch. It’s also sticking. Still no computer. But I have found the problem! Another surge of confidence and my mind spins off on epic songs commemorating my victory over technology.

Ok, so how to actually fix it. Well, I could take the switch apart. I unplug and I do. What’s in here? The button of the switch is composed of an outer frame and an inner piece that slides in and out. I can see the internal workings of the switch. Then I think, certainly only properly trained and certified people should take switches apart. What have I done, what have I done, what have I done! I should have called Scott. I should have taken it to a shop. I should never have attempted this! Well, it’s done.

Hmm. A spring is loose. And some little copper clippy thing. Very little. Where the heck did that go? Oh, here it is. I can’t tell where the copper clippy thing is supposed to go, and wonder how important it is and what the cost is as I think I’ve lost it again.

The spring I can tell goes into the sliding part of the button—I can see the round imprint where the end of the spring abraded the plastic over these past nine years. I get the long narrow tweezers from my serger. The spring is small and flops around a few times. The other end must go here…right?… Finally tweezers win over clutzy fingers and slippery springs and the switch actually goes together again, despite the missing copper clippy thing. Copper is for making electrical connections. It will never work. I’ve ruined my computer. What was I thinking!!!
I plug in. The computer whirs to life! The blue light is on! The Windows logo appears on my monitor! Victory! Epic songs are sung!

I dare not turn this thing off, ever again…

I open my email. I check the circular HP has sent me every day for the past nine years. Of course there’s a sale. There’s always a sale. So I will find a new computer. And it will be fast! And have lots of memory! And from my command seat in front of it I can travel at warp speeds to the library and the post office and the mall and the movie theater! And I am a printer again!

But my newsletter might not come out today. I’m at the virtual mall shopping for a new portal to my life.


Joy Vernon is a creative writer and tarot reader in Denver, Colorado. Her specialty is the Empyrean Key Transformational Guidance, which combines energetic and esoteric modalities to help her clients break through blocks and align themselves with their higher purpose. For information on upcoming classes or to schedule an appointment, please visit JoyVernon.com.

© 2012 by Joy Vernon. All rights reserved.

Joy Vernon
Joy Vernon

Joy Vernon is widely recognized as an expert tarot teacher and respected community leader. With over twenty-five years’ experience teaching energetic and esoteric modalities, Joy brings expertise and practiced familiarity to her specialty of esoteric tarot, which layers astrological and qabalistic symbolism onto the traditional tarot structure. Under her leadership, the Denver Tarot Meetup grew into one of the largest and most active tarot-specific meetups in the world. Now Joy runs the Greater Seattle Tarot Meetup. Joy works as a tarot reader, astrologer, and teacher in Burien, Washington. To learn more, please visit JoyVernon.com.

Articles: 472

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