Jun 8, 2011

9 By Fading Light–No Electricity

Sheep under a tree near Dorset, England.I am sitting here propped up in my bed writing by fading light with my light pen – a gift from my mom. I scroll across the pages in the semi-darkness.

There is no electricity. The only light is the fading daylight coming in from my bedroom window. It tells a story of zero current, as the usual regimen of lights is absent. Strange how darkness brings silence, it’s as if the darkness absconded with the voices, the usual exuberance for life that speaks of civilization. My cell reads 8:53 pm. The stillness is like the wee hours of the morning punctuated every once in a while with a voice that crackles like thunder.

Hmmmmm, whoa what a difference. In Trinidad the lack of current did little to silence the people, in fact it was the opposite, neighbours can be heard checking on each other or seen carrying extra candles, flashlights (torchlight) in case their neighbour is out or need extra. Darkness did little to curb the zest to lime (hang out), people just walked with their torchlights, battery operated radios, boom boxes, played music, danced and continued on without breaking a stride. Here, silence, no sound of children laughter, neighbours checking in with each other, no battery operated radio blaring, nothing. Nothing but the occasional car, bus, truck passing by.

It’s darker now and the night has become more still as the daylight move swiftly out. My pen now lights up my whole page as I write. I am bit hungry but I am unable to cook. The stove is electric, so is the toaster oven, toaster and microwave. I ate at 3 O’clock today; it is now 9:05 pm. As I sit here writing and talking with you I am mentally going through my cupboards for anything ready to eat—I have tuna, corn beef and homemade bread. I am now visualizing the contents of my refrigerator and I am seeing the bag of oranges and pears and opt to go with fruit instead of the tuna and bread I was considering.   hmmmm, the quiet is kinda nice yet it makes me miss home, quite an oxymoron of emotions I’d say.

Smiling, I am thinking of home (Trinidad) and this lack of electricity. Its funny you know, when you are living outside of the Western world you never think things like this happen here. Why you may wonder, simple really, because your gaze is in the ideal. Everything that is advertised about Western society is idyllic, a utopia so to speak, a place free of hardships, joblessness, homelessness, where dreams come through and the common experience of no electricity just doesn’t occur.  You designate these people “lucky” living free of hardship and worries. You imagine everyone living like Jay Z, Oprah & Beyonce and joblessness and homelessness is only for people in your homeland. Weird right? You never envision that it is the same and if anyone tries to tell you differently you resist hearing the truth and instead you believe that they want to prevent you from having a good life like they are having especially if your dream is to migrate. The truth is it all exists here as it exists everywhere else, the rich, the poor, the homeless, the jobless, the hopeless, and the hopeful.

light (6)Its now 9:15 pm  and the daylight is completely gone, even my pen with light is inadequate to continue much longer. The light from my cell phone is almost blinding as my eyes have adjusted to the fading light. I will have to pause in a moment to light a tea light. It is small but efficient. I see no need to light a large candle or the lamp since in a few hours I will be in bed. Oh! The light just came back on! Yeah! Well off I go to capitalize on this light to have an orange and steam a piece of fish before the electricity decide to pull another Hodenee .

Thanks for waiting through the darkness with me. I enjoyed your company. Hope I didn’t talk your head off. I guess the lack of electricity has the opposite effect on me, perhaps because am Caribbean? In any event thanks again you were a good listener. I hope I can return the favour in the future.

Take care, smooches…

9 comments:

  1. I enjoyed waiting through the darkness with you. I enjoyed your company also. You didn’t talk my head off, I always like your spin on things -- you DO have a way with words. I love the post. Writing in darkness has a way of reaching another part of our inner writer.

    I changed the entry requirements for the book give away, you can enter now. There's no way I could possibly have a contest and not include my Canadian friends.

    Thanks for pointing that out to me, I totally forgot about that detail.

    dellgirl

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  2. Rhapsody dear... I was just typing out a comment about my journey with you through this darkness that the power shut down here and my UPS gave way! Anyway when the power shuts down in India ( as it often does) it is unbearably hot. So, if it is evening then people come outside the house and there is some hob nobing with neighbours. Sometimes the ice cream cart may stop by if there are enough children. So it is not exactly quiet as you rightly say. BTW I like the idea of a pen with a light- reminds me of a song that we were taught in school "This little guiding light of mine"...

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  3. Hi Rhapsody,
    I also enjoyed this post, thanks alot, also for the memories of Trinidad.
    Love,
    Herrad

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  4. Enjoyed this post and LOVE your writing! I'll be back to visit.

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  5. I really like this post, and ur writing style. Yes o, back home(Nigeria), darkness dint take the sound with it either. Same as Meera's explanation, we all com outside, and so do our voices. hehehe

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  6. It's funny how ones perception changes when the power goes out. We are so dependent on electricity that when it's gone you imediately think, "I can't do anything!"

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  7. This was a very pleasant adventure into the dark world of no electricity. I suppose when one gets used to it we may find ourselves in a good place. I don't mind not having it now and then. I wouldn't even mind going without it for a day now and then. Perhaps we Westerners might be "in the moment of being" if we did not have it so easy.
    Very thought inspiring :)

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  8. Lol! It's so true how everything gets quiet one there's no light!!!

    Adiya
    http://thecornershopng.blogspot.com/

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  9. Yes, i am one of such people who believe there is NEVER a black out...but now, you have made me understand....can you get a propane / kerosene stove & lantern? Well, in Nigeria, we are used to it & never disturbs our activities...SOME sleep at the balcony in a secured environment, while in the tenements building, they cluster around to gist and even sleep on mats at the front of their rooms...glad the power came back quickly, take care ma'am.

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