Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Black out

Coming through the door, near-darkness allowed 19 years in the same house to lead me through the rooms with a modicum of confidence. I knew where the flashlight was, whose beam seemed flashingly bright and brilliant, glaring on the walls as it bounced down the hall with my searching hand. Candles were lit, and I found I could function. I found a snack, settled into my chair to finish a book by the glow of 4 candles, and found such peace in the darkness, and in the simple light.

Driving home from yoga, I was plunged into darkness; even traffic lights were mute. I looked into the Valley of WalMart, and saw darkness. Over the horizon, I could see the glow of an electrified Meijers. I knew I would have a partial, if not complete, darkness surrounding my home. That Miejers parking lot flare would light the sky at home from a mile and a half away. Incessantly. But the glow was dull without the WalMart glare, and I was enjoying the soft night sky as I emerged from my car.

The silence of a blackout is precious, and like a blanket on the solitude. Even with company, a blackout has a weight, or maybe lightness, to it that is not familiar, that holds a certain ominence of impending nothingness. Even in company, the quiet demands more self awareness and familiarity with the uncertainty of self. No distractions. Well, less.

I pull out my Sony Walkman, and begin to play along on my instruments. Through the 3rd or 4th song, I hear a noise. A noise?! There shouldn't be a noise. It is the noise of wind. The heat is on, blowing through the air ducts, which means the electricity is back on. Fortunately, I had left no lights on in the house. The darkness prevailed, save the 4 candles alight in the living room. I run to a light switch to see that I am "saved", -and promptly turn it off. The candle light is much more pleasant. I resolve to purchase a lot of candles so that I will take advantage of this simple pleasure more often. Even with the TV on, the candles lend a glow that is soft and serene.

As I head down the hallway to prepare for bed, I can't help turning back to the computer to share these observations. My recent work in clay has been about how computers and computer chips have infiltrated our lives, creating dependence on a communication artery, one that could be called an artery of data that borders on emotion. Unfortunately, the written word is only 34 percent of our communication. Another 20 percent is our inflection and verbal nuance. The balance, almost 50 percent, is manifest in our visual cues. The last two factors are not present in this post.

So what are you getting out of it??
I hope you will comment.

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