Friday, May 30, 2008

Electricity is Over-rated

One night a couple of weeks ago the power went out. All I could hear was the ticking of the clock, the dog’s gentle snore and the faint sounds of traffic. I had only four candles and a hurricane lamp to light my pen and notebook and the six newly written pages of my book. "Peaceful" can't quite describe the feeling.

I forget how much noise and light we live with, just from the endless array of things that we plug in, their tiny blue lights and the soft sounds that only stop when the power goes out. The TV, the stereo receiver, the DVR, the DVD player/Mac-Mini, my computer, Thomas’ computer, the clocks on the oven and microwave, two alarm clocks in the bedroom, power strips, night lights in the bathroom and the girls room, the light behind the light switches, phone chargers, the refrigerator, the dryer because it usually needs to be emptied, ceiling fans . . .

Basically there is always something on, always demanding attention, however passively. Even after I turn out the lights and go to bed, these tiny little lights still twinkle like earth-bound stars. So with no power and everything finally and truly off, I felt calm. Peaceful. The tight ball of anxiety that usually lives in my chest loosened just a bit. I decided that the power could stay off all night.

Except that, just then, something just bit me.

Lights, please!

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