Monday, April 27, 2015


Glowing power pole in the dark
Saturday night, I was reading one of my proof copy of a new book I've been writing, busy editing it, when I saw a flash of light out my door, then the light's went out.


All electronics, both small and large breathed their last, from the sloshing dishwasher, to the breathing of the computer, and its peeping muttering lights.

My room was bathed in utter darkness. Not having a flashlight nearby, I felt my way downstairs and harvested several solar garden lights by the porch to light up the house. Then looking up, I saw that the top of a power pole just beyond my house was glowing orange and sending sparks into the air. It was on fire.

Kinda creepy. I have no idea if lightening got it, or the rain was too much for it. We drove past the pole, and were astonished to find that the top of it, including the crossbeams that held the power lines in place, were hanging off the pole, like it'd had its head sliced off, causing a blackout to our entire neighborhood. 

Not long after that, the fire department, and then the power company were called out there. And they were dutifully fixing it in the cold rain. Personally, I think these guys should get an award for bravery, and sheer niceness for going out into cold dreary night to fix the power.

It was funny because when the power's out, that's when people come out too. One by one, the cars drive slowly by, as everyone tries to figure out what has caused the disturbance in the force. Why, this darkness has come to our small village?

At such times humanity is forced to reexamine how much time one spends in front of screens, watching other people live. We are forced to look at each other in the flickering candlelight, with no distractions, and consider how strange, how foreign this darkness is.

How raw this darkness, real and how empty, and yet how full it could be if we filled our lives with more than electronics. We are forced to sleep when normal people should sleep. Forced to unplug so we can actually be plugged into the now.

Times like these cause me to realize how much we depend on the system for basic needs like water, light, and warmth. Things you'd think in our modern society could create on its own, independent from systems. Solar panels. Water. Light. Such basic things, yet still we rely on someone else to get them for us.

Wouldn't it be such a nice thought, that when the city's power went out, yours did not? Where we are all hooked up to the same lines, we are in darkness and light together.

Hooked up and plugged in.

When one's light goes out, we all go out.

I guess it's both good and bad. We can all share the common bond of being laced together, so we can look out for each other in dark or light.

But on the other hand, what if we were plugged into a different source of power. One that never went out?

So that when the rains came, and the storm beat down, we always had light, that we could offer heat, light and shelter independently from the great brain of society.

These are my thoughts, thoughts I think while the lights are down, and the power is shut off.

            Power. Maybe if it was shut off long enough, we as a society would actually empower ourselves to really live, to find the real, rawness of living apart from being plugged into everyone, but never being plugged into ourselves, where we are forced to examine the empty spaces in ourselves---the vaporous and hollow part of us, this virtual reality our modern lifestyle has filled up, only to vanish once we are unplugged.

And we are left, orphaned. Frightened by the empty gaping hole we are forced to see and acknowledge---something that never can be filled up artificially.

What do you do then?

Live. Face your greatest foe, yourself. Examine the good, the bad, the ugly, and cast out what is not good, and keep what is solid, and sure, the beautiful, the true. 

Taking complete responsibility for your life. Blaming no one.
That is the beginning of self awareness.

 That's when the power truly comes back on.

The power of Words

I recently did an experiment about how negative words and positive words effect people, after I saw this blog post by a person who put pieces of apples into jars and labeled one Positive Apple, and the other one Negative Apple. Here's the original post.
I thought the idea behind it was intriguing so I decided to try it out for myself.
The idea behind it is that your words are powerful, much more powerful than any of us realize.
For my experiment, I chopped an apple in half.
Then I placed one half in a jar, and labeled that apple negative apple and put the other half of the apple in a jar, and labeled that one Positive Apple.
I wanted both apples to have equal environment both in temperature, and in opportunity to have ample words spoken to them. But I wanted to be sure the that the positive apple would be in a place sure to only get positive words.
So I put the positive apple in the bathroom, with the charge to all in the house to speak only kind words to that apple. Then I put the negative apple in the kitchen, where I knew the sounds of the TV or any possible shouting might catch it.

My two nine-year old nieces happened to spend the week at my house, at the time of the apple experiment, and they had great fun with both the apples. Every time they passed by the different jars of apples, they were sure to give the negative apple a verbal beating, and a mouthful of sour, rotten words. "You bad, bad apple! You jerk apple. You're rotten to the core! You ugly rotten, stinking, piece of fruit. Nobody likes you. You should turn into a pile of mold, and die you wormy thing!"

It was so abused that I felt a bit sorry for it. An apple.

Then to the positive apple kind words were spoken to it in abundance. "Oh, we love you, you're so beautiful, so sweet, so lovely. We love you. Mahwah! I want to hug you, you're so wonderful. You're so green, so delicious, such a good, good apple. Ahhhh!"

My niece named both the apples, The negative one she named, NA, the positive one, PA.
After about a week or so, signs of the words began showing in both apples.
I couldn't believe it myself. And I still have to do a re-trial to be sure. But day by day. Word by word. After shouting and yelling, and cussing the poor NA, it began to sweat, and coat the bottle in water, like it was crying. Then dark spots began to appear, then mold, then rot.

The other apple, the PA however remained much more happy, and fresh looking. The difference was unbelievable. They were both sliced from the same apple. Just one half was spoken to with love, the other with spite, and anger.

Words. What untold power resides in them?
The force of light, and darkness we wield with our tongue and pen. The scripture about life or death coming from our tongues come to mind.

I'm glad my nieces were here to see the effect of their words so vividly displayed for all to see.
If words have such power on inert objects like apples, what are our words doing to people?

What effect are your words having on your spouse, your children, your family, your friends, and even yourself?
Words, they fall like rain everywhere, no piece of ground is left untouched.
And where they sink into the dry soil, what life-sustaining power, what encouragement, hope, love, or life are we bestowing upon a land, dry and parched by years of sarcasm, and words that are barbed and twisted.

We are in a drought.
But not for water.
But for words.
Real, true, good beautiful words.
And you have the power to water the parched grounds with a single word.

What mold, what busies what rot are we causing by the harmful words we speak at random without a thought to what harm it may be causing those around us?

What good we might do? What life we might give? What soil we might enrich by things we have long left unsaid. What potential lies dormant, if we but learned the power of blessing through our words, and the way we wield them.
If we wielded  words as carefully as wield a match, we would use them not to burn others or ourselves, but to light up a dark world, and give light, warmth and hope to those groping in the darkness for a fragment, a shaft of light and hope to hold onto.

They literally give life. Or take it away.

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