A Power Outage and the Joys of Being Disconnected

This morning we woke up to find that the electricity had gone out.  Not having too much in terms of food for breakfast, we decided to take a walk to a local breakfast cafe, only to realize that the electricity had gone out for a larger part of our neighborhood than we had realized, finding the cafe closed. 

We thought perhaps the Peet’s by us would be open, so we started on our way to hear a screech and a crash and sure enough at the intersection two cars had gotten into an accident.  It sounded quite rough but luckily the one truck had hit the other car in the rear driver-side door and no one was hurt. I started to think though how much does society depend on electricity, seeing how the one power outage had made running many businesses in the area not possible, as well as seeing how not having street lights on could lead to such dangers. 

When we arrived at Peet’s, we had found that they did not have any hot drinks such as coffee due to the electricity outage.  We had gotten some iced tea and some pastries and sat there enjoying them, a bit hungry.  I was amazed at how quiet it was without all the ambient sounds of machinery.  Also, no overhead lights were on so the room was wonderfully lit with just natural light.  At one point a worker who had gone to another store that did have power had come in with hot water in a thermal carafe, enough to make pressed coffee.  I really enjoyed how things were just fine there, operating with just the very basics.  (I was reminded of the coffee chain in Poland called Pozegnanie z Afryka, something about the light in the room, the coffee…)

Back at home, we purchased some matches on the way so that we could light the stove to do some cooking.  Sitting there, it was a joy to just relax in the silence and just think about things.  I was reminded of how working away from the computer for music has often yielded some of the most fruitful work. The car accident today made me realize that some uses of electricity are really quite essential, but there are a great deal many things I’m seeing now that just don’t feel like they’re necessary to have on.

Today, after such a beautiful wedding of our friends Tom and Corinne at Tilden Park and the lessons learned from this morning, I’m looking very forward to taking the next 6 days away from computers and cell phones and other technology to participate in our teacher’s Tai-Chi  camp at Walker Creek Ranch, disconnected from it all. 

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