disconnected presence

I always forget how electrically connected I am until the power goes out. A little tornado swept through the air here in Maryland this past Sunday. I don’t think it ever touched the ground, but the brute force wind it brought snapped 50-foot trees in half and left power lines thrashing on the ground.

In my house, everything went dark.

And so did about 90 percent of my connection with the world.

Although I could remain connected with the people I live with, for three days, I lost the ability to connect with my virtual community. I could not e-mail anyone, blog anywhere, or explore anything. While I journal the old-fashioned way (i.e., actual writing on paper), I even use my virtual ability to connect with myself using my laptop to craft my stories, essays, and blogs. All of that writing was suspended, left dangling in silent expectation. I felt very disconnected from it and did not even have draft copies printed out to edit.

During daylight hours, I got to go to work. Nothing had changed there. They had electricity. They had air conditioning and showers with hot water. They had the Internet. While my personal online outings had to be limited, I had the ability to be virtually connected again. It is summer time, too, and getting out to be with people was easy. I could go to the library or Starbucks to get online if I wanted to. Hotels are abundant and I could always get a nice air-conditioned room with complimentary Internet connection.

It was nice to have these options. During the infamous blizzard this past February, the electricity was on the blitz for two days and driving anywhere was impossible for about a week.

Here is the best thing I learned about that: you really have to love the company you are with – even if it just yourself.

©2010 by Barbara L. Kass

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6 Responses to “disconnected presence”

  1. sandiwhite Says:

    Hi, Barbara, glad you are back! I was talking with some older people Sunday, and mentioned that it must have been awful to do all the preserving and canning that was part of everyday summer-time life fifty years ago. Well, for goodness sake, I can remember that! But it wasn’t me doing the work, it was me being told to run off and play. In the mid to late 80’s however, I lived totally off the power grid in N.Ga. I preserved and canned on a wood stove when I was out of propane, I even built a stove of river rock and sheet metal to can on outside under the trees. It would take a truckload of money to get me to camping these days. I love my Air Conditioner, refrigerator, freezer, hair dryer, you name it, Internet, telephone, if it plugs into the wall I love it. Those older people I quizzed simply said, ” You don’t miss what you never had, things are much easier now.” I agree.

    • Barbara Kass Says:

      Hi, Sandy — you are right. Our lifestyles are conditioned to be plugged in. We are so creative as a species you would think we could get beyond this physical necessity and invent wireless electricity. That might be my blog for tomorrow!

  2. holessence Says:

    “brute-force wind”
    “snapped 50-foot trees”
    “power lines thrashing on the ground”
    “…went dark … and so did my connection with the world.”

    Barbara, the word picture you painted in this had me right there in the center of the turmoil. The writer in me bows to the writer in you!

  3. ButterfliesGalore-Kimberly Grady Says:

    I am hoping you now ar back to normal now and well on the road to everything being ok…..

    I have to say Lauries response jumped right off the page for me in another way! describing the path i have been walking the last few years, perhaps even more!

    “brute-force wind”
    “snapped 50-foot trees”
    “power lines thrashing on the ground”
    “…went dark … and so did my connection with the world.”

    I am still working on those power connections……..

    • Barbara Kass Says:

      Hi, Kim — yes, we got power back finally on Wednesday night. There are still traffic lights out around the area, though. I have a feeling that the path you have been traveling for the past few years is a little tiresome. Of course,you know your personal power comes when you connect to self and actually listen to yourself.

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