Wednesday, June 22, 2016

lights out

At about four minutes to six, this morning, there was some sort of explosion that echoed in the neighborhood. Whether it was "up the street" or "down the street" or "behind the house" or "in front of it" was not entirely clear, but the net effect was the same: The lights went out.

The lights, the phone, the computer and every other electricity-dependent item -- kaput. This meant I was forced to revise my morning rituals. I could not read the news wires I usually did. I could not write on the computer. I could not warm up an overnight-stale roll for breakfast.

So I sat on the porch in the morning light and did what I usually reserved for later -- read the paper. The paper holds less and less news in narrower and narrower focal lengths so I couldn't assess what was happening in much of the rest of the world. I considered writing by hand, but my handwriting has disintegrated over time and now the dis-use comes back to haunt me ... now I write like some doctor signing a prescription ... carelessly, arrogantly, indecipherably.

All else failing, I went back to bed and held a book up to the nearest window so I could read a little and then doze. Old farts get to do that, so I did it.

Around 8, there was some sort of ka-chunk and the lights returned.

It was not reassuring enough to erase my exposure to my advancing inadequacies.

Reminded me of a bait-and-switch video offered by The Guardian entitled, "The Weight of Light," which suggested in its teaser that a way to create light for those otherwise consigned to kerosene or darkness in the tropics might now see at night ... study for school, view family members, come out of a darkness that consumes everyone. The premise was enticing, but the solution has not yet been found. I felt gypped by the teaser, though interested in the engineering efforts. How dark the darkness!

1 comment:

  1. The title of the article does suggest something with more metaphorical or scientific gravitas. Providing equal opportunities and resources around the world is a wonderful thing. But here in the mountains i still have a few kerosene lamps and candles about. The grid is regularly challenged by summer air conditioning and winter storms here. My driveway being a half mile long prohibits a paper delivery, but i have books. And the news has come to be a daily yammering of human stupidity that's less interesting than when i thought we might change things. Samsara defies our best intentions.