What it’s like to endure 7 weeks of amnesia

This is a funeral for a life snuffed out before its time. I have to have closure. I must start anew.


My online jounral goes back to ’82. Some annual files contain hundreds of pages of ideas, observations, confessions, and diary stuff. The notebooks contain drawings and to-do lists and diagrams and scribbles and anything that comes to mind. I weed them out every five years.

For the last year, I’d gotten into pouring stream-of-consciousness words into the 2012 Pages file. Business ideas, project reminders, reflections, all the stuff that would disappear from my memory banks, to be retrieved with an assist from my outboard brain’s 2012 file.

A little before Christmas 2012 I was so excited about turning the page to a fresh year that I started jotting things down in a new 2013 file. Feeling hip, I put the file in Apple’s cloud. I wrote and drew page after page. Business plans, calls to make, sketches. I added material daily and reflected on what I wrote. Six weeks into this, I opened 2013 on my iPad. The next day, my Macs could not open 2013. It was missing an index file. I examined a copy and was horrified to find it contained no data.

Apple tells me if I don’t save a iCloud resident file on my iPad, when I try to open it on my Mac, it may give this error. And all I need to do is reboot the iPad and let it finish uploading the file to iCloud. That sounded great. What Genius! But when I opened my iPad, there was no 2013 file there.


I went to my backup. Time Machine doesn’t back up iCloud. Seven weeks of plans, ruminations, New Year’s Resolutions!, research findings, general writing… all gone, never to return.

This is not a solemn funeral. I lost more than a month of memories but I am free to think an even grander future.

Did I mention I am easily distracted? I will not go out of my house without a notebook in hand. A “hip pocket PDA” (3 x 5 cards and a paper clip) is enough although I’m partial to small French and German sketchpads and notebooks. I cope…no, make that overachieve… by not losing ideas without giving them a second hearing. I jot concepts down on first meeting them and puzzle out why they seemed so cool in the second step of the process. If I’m going to work them over, they go into my automated systems. These hadn’t made it yet.

Raise a glass to disappeared January! I’ll live my life without it.