Writing in the Dark - A Piece Of My Mind
Hello Darkness, my old friend…
I've come to talk with you again
—Paul Simon (song-Sound of Silence)
One Friday afternoon at 3pm, rain was pouring down hard outside against my window sill of my office. I was working, I stop to view Mother Nature at her best. Rain is an amazing thing to watch. When it is a hard rain, it streams downward in sheets. Many a writer and poet have spoken about rain in their projects.
I turned back away from my window sill and back toward my computer screen. I’m working on an outline for a new project. A friend had Yahoo messaged me and is wondering how my outline is going.
A bolt of lightning flashes through the sky, followed by a roll of thunder. Mother Nature’s light show is visible from my window... and then suddenly, the world shut down and the power vanished.
I took a flashlight with me and looked at the house’s circuit breakers, flipped them on and off to no success. The power was totally off!
It was light enough for me to gather emergency candles, flashlights and lanterns. However my phone line was through my cable company. So was my computer internet and television. With the power off, all three became useless to me. So contact with the outside world dematerialize in a split second of power shortage.
Sure, I could open the door to my patio and yell at passersby. Nevertheless I was not in any danger. Nor did I need another person yelling out saying: “So you outta power too?” The hallway and the stairway had emergency lighting, so if I had wanted to leave, I could have left the building. Through my sliding glass door I could see that many surrounding buildings were in the same boat as I was. The rain still was pouring down in sheets. It was peppered by more of Mother Nature’s magnificent light and sound show, lightning and thunder.
I placed a hurricane lantern lamp in my bath room, kitchen and the living room. This gave a small glow to my darkening world. The place got colder, I put on a sweat jacket to stop the oncoming cold and dampness.
My cell phone had a partial charge. I did call my mother and members of my extended family to let them know I was alright. One family member commented that they tried to call me, since the phone was cordless and ran on electric, it did not ring nor could I get a dial tone. I shut the phone down to save its battery for special calls if I needed them.
I opened my patio door, pulled the screen door open and allowed the air and light to flow in. The overcast skies turned the light to slow darkness. I grabbed a pen and spiral notebook and started to write this column.
My lighting was a mix of whatever light streamed from the patio, a strong flashlight (which when I can, I need to reward this light with a battery change) and a Halloween pumpkin candle.
How we take for granted these modern day trappings like DVD players, Television, computers, microwaves, stoves and even electric lights.
We all are so used to hearing the phone ring, the computer chirping and churning, the microwaving binging, the hum of the TV as it plays in the background, etc. Here I sat in my desk chair with all these useless machines around me, because I had no power to use them. Now I was surrounded by sounds I never really listened to from outside my door. I sat and listening to cars swishing in the rain, people yelling outside in the street...even the sound of the rain still coming down . The sensory experience was unique to me. It was freeing for the writer in me. I jotted down notes and feeling on the notebook's page. More a stream of thought than anything else, but it was how I felt.
A unique thought hit me. I am scratching out my warped thoughts in a spiral notebook, written in limited light. One day, I will transfer these words to my computer's word program. From there, these words will be sent in an email to my editor. She will in turn print these words in an online internet magazine. Most of this will not happen until the lights come back on. Ah Progress!
Writing in this manner, I was thinking of how many great authors, like Dickens, Poe, Twain, Hugo and many others did the same thing, as I am doing with these ramblings. I do not assume I am a great author, just humbled by thought that I am doing the same things as ones who have come before me.
Postscript-- the lights flicked on at 845pm to be shut again at 851pm. I had blown out all the candles and lanterns, just to have to relight them again. At 845pm, the image of a beach in Hawaii appeared on the living room TV set (Hawaii Five -o was going to air at 9pm on CBS). Waxing poetically here, in a way we were taken out of Eden, but we can still see it.
The power finally came on again. Six hours of no lights, no power. And the funny thing that happened, my office TV started playing what was on ME-TV. The Gilligan’s Island show. If you ever heard the theme song, there is a lyrics that struck me funny. No Phones, No lights, No motor cars…Not a single luxury...
After hearing that show I realized I had just lived it. I got creative and I had to tell this story of me in the dark.
At eleven PM, I hosted my ANYTHING GOES radio show and not many knew of the six hours I had in the dark. Until now!
Prompt of The month
Since Hanukkah is starting the day of Thanksgiving this year. Seriously! What is your worst Holiday story? Your worst Holiday memory? Mine is the exploding turkey. I must reply that to you one day
Until next time, reach for the stars
Columnist: Bennet Pomerantz has covered the Audio medium for the last 20 years. He has syndicated newspaper columns, AUDIOWORLD and "Movies of Your Mind", in Affaire De Coeur Magazine. In which he showcase his vast and diverse knowledge of the spoken word medium.
He is also known as a media review critic (books, music, graphic novels, DVDs, CDs) in his weekly syndicated newspaper column "A Piece of the Page". He also is a ranked media reviewer for Amazon.com. http://www.facebook.com/bennet.pomerantz1 / E-mail: email@example.com