A few years ago, when I was extremely broke and living with a roommate who was equally unfortunate monetarily, we had our lights shut off. It was mid-afternoon and the energy company wouldn’t be able to turn everything back on until the following day, so we were pretty much stuck living in darkness until then.
My roommate, who was a freak about technology, was lost without her daily dose of computer and television time – and she was very vocal about it, too. After a good hour or so of playing on her phone, boredom finally consumed her and she went to bed to “waste time” until the lights were turned on again.
I took a different route.
I tracked down a candle, and fished out a notebook and pen from the abyss that was my room. I set up a little writing station at the kitchen table and sat there, writing letters in the candlelight. It was a beautiful experience. In fact, I often go back to that memory just to soak up the delight it brought to me. Not to mention that this little jaunt outside of my everyday normal was like lightening to my Muse. Inspiration was thick in the air around me and I couldn’t write fast enough for a few days afterwards.
For a slight period of time, I had a glimpse into what a literal Dark Age would be like if all the technology in the world were to go bye-bye tomorrow and all we’d be left with is firelight once again. I know I’m hopelessly romanticizing it and that, in all actuality, there’d be a hell of a lot more problems to encounter if this so-called digital darkness really engulfed the world. But, for one little moment in time, I was brought back to the basics and I liked it.
The night whispered to me and I fully soaked it up. I enjoyed everything from the flickering light dancing across the room to the solid silence that replaced the noisy background buzzing of everyday electronics. Even the creepy feeling of the possibility of someone lurking in the shadows, or the hunger from not being able to dig into the fridge for food seemed to thrill me into a more vibrant state of being.
I felt alive!
That’s why, when I think back on this moment, I’m so happy I chose to live in it, rather than just deal with it. If I had gone the path of my roommate, I never would have had such an excellent memory to fall back on. I never would have experienced writing to loved ones in candle light. And I never would have understood what it is that I’m trying to relay to you now, and that is…
The power has recently gone out in my life but instead of waiting for it to come back on, I’m trying to find a way to make my own light. And it stinks and I’m tired and I want nothing more than to go to sleep and forget all about my problems but… there are memories to be made – if only I improvise.
So here’s to the bad days and the future memories of them turning into good ones.