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.

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