Dark, Quiet, and Empty


5 September 2011

Like Charles Simic, who muses about his “reunion with boredom” during Hurricane Irene over at the NYRB blog, we had several days of electricity-lessness last week.  What we did have: a rain barrel full of water, a backpacking hand-pump filter, about 5 gallons of bottled water, a lantern and a flashlight, a Smokey Joe, fire wood, a wood-burning stove, a land line (and an analog telephone), Blackberries with spotty connection, a pretty robust first aid kit, a car full of gas.  In other words, we were pretty much just fine, if a little unkempt.  Oh, and we had a refrigerator and a freezer full of food (later on, we bought five bags of ice).

It’s amazing that, really, even with having to boil pots of water in order to wash dishes and ourselves, and ration drinking water, the most significant alteration to our lives was the loss of Internet connection.  It was wonderful, really.  We listened to the wind and the rain instead of the atonal hum of devices; we read and walked and swept the floors and sat on the porch.  We were lucky that the three days following the storm were sunny and beautiful, so we could salvage our plants and trellises and clear the yard of debris in nice weather.  We were not bored.  We were lucky all around – that we had a “good storm” and not a devastating one, that instead of “Biblical wrath” we had “Nature’s kindness.”

I wish we had the discipline to institute Internet-free weekends regularly; we probably don’t.  But as I write this, I am relaxing into the memory of all that dark and quiet and empty, and I’m thinking, well, maybe…


One Response to “Dark, Quiet, and Empty”

  1. It does seem almost hard to remember those ancient times–what about 10 years ago?–when we weren’t connected to the world 24/7. Were we more connected to ourselves? To the people we most are actually “connected” to? It does feel challenging to reclaim some of that, and yet so tempting. Sonya, if you can unplug on weekends, I can, too. Maybe we can start a trend–take back the weekend!

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