Apr 18, 2014

The Power of Power Outages


How are my lovely readers doing today? I just wanted to update you a little and share a thought or two.

I am healing nicely - PT is going well too. While my physical therapist is a young, smiling woman with long hair, I am still glancing around the back of her neck and on her scalp, as I am sure “666” embossed on her somewhere. How someone who greets you so cheerily and then without a blink, have you in tears only moments later, to then only have me thank her and wish her a good day! LOL. I want to thank you all for contacting me via emails and comments to wish me well. I have been off the computer for some time, as I am finding that my therapy days tend to trigger migraines, which keep me off the computer for a bit. I read all your emails and comments, but must limit my time on the computer these past couple of weeks. But again, I am very glad to be headed in the right direction, and before long, I will be tap dancing up a storm. (Never mind that I never tapped danced in my life...but never too late to learn with a brand new knee, right?).

During these past few weeks of spring has made my recovery more than a little interesting. A couple of weeks ago, about 5:15 AM, I awoke with the tornado siren blaring outside. I jumped up, and punched my beloved in the ribs (lovingly, of course) and yelled, “Get up! Tornado!” And I “ran” down the hall to the basement and “ran” down the stairs. It wasn’t until sometime later, after the storm passed, did my barber husband ask if I was okay. Thinking he meant my fear of the storm, but he was referring to my knee. He was behind me as I “ran” down the hall, and I barely recall him yelling at me, “Be careful! Be careful” as I made my way down the hall.  At the time, I thought he was talking about the storm in general, but no, he just hasn’t seen me move at such a pace in almost two years and I think I freaked him out more than the storm! I am a little frustrated because I have no memory of running, or getting down the stairs quickly, and I so wish I could replay that moment in my head and so I could see myself running once again. But, I do relish in the idea that I DID run, even though at the moment I can’t - but will again. 

Amazing how fear can energize a decrepit, sleepy person!

Storms energize me. I feel so energized, in general, during a short-term power outages. In fact, I think our culture’s norm changes for the better during power outages. Now, I am talking about short-term outages, such as a branch disrupting power over a few blocks, or construction knocking out a line for just the afternoon. Not the life-threatening, losing all our food, three-weeks-without-no-air conditioning outages. But during those shorter outages, it is amazing how neighborhoods reenergize when our lives lose their power source. 

Suddenly neighbors are out on the porches and in driveways talking to each other, borrowing candles and batteries for flashlights. No blaring televisions, stereos, noisy A/C units as the street grows darker except for small glows of candlelight flicker through open windows. Even in the age of cellphones with Internet service, most people conserve their phone battery until power is restored, so even cell phones are put away for a while. During those power outages, children are also outside playing, reminding me of my own childhood. Suddenly, eating dinner on the porch with a camping lantern is more romantic than just purposeful. As the street darkens, and neighbors gather around eating popsicles and ice-cream (because we all know how they will melt in just moments), it is nice to enjoy the moment, free from electronic obligations. 

My barber husband plays guitar (just a little bit) but suddenly, the music he plays is now a live concert, with a “lightening” show in the distance, accompanied by bass (thunder). It’s comical when the wind suddenly turns cold, how the adults in unison say, “Whoa!” and then we all wonder aloud where did that came from, as we look around and up at the sky like experienced meteorologists, as we offer up our predictions. 

The adults begin sharing their personal horror stories of storms from their past...the adult version of campfire, scary stories - sans flashlight pointed at the storyteller’s face. Suddenly porch steps, the curb, or a car’s bumper all become comfortable couches for neighbors who normally warm up the lazy boy with feet kicked high, behind closed curtains, and stereo surround-sound turned up to drown out any outside noise.

These short-lived power outages offer us a chance to reconnect not only with others, but to rediscover non-electronic ways to occupy our time: Reading a real book (not Kindle), knitting in silence, listening to the wind and rain, playing cards, taking a walk, draw chalk figures on the sidewalk (yes, really), or just lie back and enjoy the cool breeze blowing through the open windows. It is my observation that it seems as though our culture seeks “permission” to cut ties with our electronics. We pay bills, do banking, communicate, share, respond, research, play games, listen to music, and can even shop groceries via electronics. Things we do so naturally now via electronics, were once an opportunity to socialize, get to know the bank teller, meet a friend for a chat and coffee, or just browse the public library. We seem to feel like we are wasting our day, or feel non-productive should we take a day or two off from the cell phone or computer. 

While electronics are an amazing and wonderful part of our culture, they can also be a burden. A burden to upgrade, keep up, learn new programs, expensive, limited in some areas, and as we all know, it can also be unreliable. But mostly, this man-made power just doesn't have the power of real human touch.

Sometimes, living “virtually,”  virtually extinguishes real living.

I think the reason I am so drawn to abandoned buildings is because at one time, the building was so full of life and stories. And nothing man-made has enough power to bring that abandoned building back to real life. Only human love is powerful enough to bring life to an empty room...

I was on a photo shoot and setting up in another room when I walked into this room to go get my chandeliers that I left in the corner. As beautiful as the old French chandeliers are...it was the bright sunlight that made me stop in awe and wonder. No matter how much I style a shot, even with the most beautiful props, the power of natural light, is by far, so much more powerful than anything I could ever create.

And that is a good reminder for me to realize that what I create, plan, or want, would never be as wonderful or powerful than what He wants for me - Jesus Christ.

I will always plan and create...but with an open heart and mind that allows Jesus to direct me, change me, and use me to the best of His ability, not mine. Man-made power is so wonderful and beautiful  that it is easy to see how it benefits our lives. But the true Power allows us to fully feel His presence - we don't have to see Him to know He is working within us. 

Happy Easter to you all, and may you always feel the power of Jesus in your beautiful lives.

from my house to your house,



deb said...

hello Elizabeth ~ so happy to hear that you are on the mend ...buy those tap shoes :-)
thank you for sharing your beautiful photos ~ Wishing you a very Happy Easter ♥

Anonymous said...

A wonderful Easter message, one that I will read several times. I have missed you and your posts but understand how good it can be to disconnect with all the electronic noise. Blessings to you and yours. Tracy from Houston

Debra said...

God bless and keep you!

Bohemian said...

I'm so glad to hear you're on the mend. And I agree about the temporary power outage bringing forth a wave of Nostalgia because it prompts everyone to slow down and improvise, if just for that brief period of time... and re-connect to "Old School" styles of Enjoyment and Socialization which are sadly, fast disappearing in this Tech Obsessed World we now live in.

Easter Blessings from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Thank you, my lovely readers for stopping by and leaving such thoughtful comments. I appreciate them and getting better and better :-)

Lots of hugs

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