Friday, 17 July 2009
In the Dark
So I get home last night about 9, storm brewing outside, first patters of rain. I compile a couple of pizzas and am about to put them in the (electric) oven when suddenly - flash of lightning, whump, power gone, in the dark. Yes, a power cut, and it lasted two and a half hours (an improvement on the one last year that lasted a whole day). Not having any serious candles about the place, I was reduced to lighting decorative ones and tea lights and whatever else might give a light... A power cut brings several things home to you. One is our utter craven dependence on electricity, and how completely we take it for granted. Another is the beauty of the soft glow of candlelight in comparison to harsh incandescent light. And another - perhaps the most surprising and primally affecting to us spoilt, overlit urbanites - is the sheer overwhelming power of darkness, how suddenly and completely it invades. This great poem by Edward Thomas says it all about that power - and much else.