What do you do when the power goes out?

I'd just gotten back from working on the rigs, looking forward to a few days off with fast internet, unlimited downloads, nice cool weather, catch ups with friends and loads of sleep.

Exhausted, I collapsed into a deep sleep a few minutes before midnight, just after I arrived home.

On awakening, I was vaguely disconcerted by the stillness of the morning, but disregarded it as I sat up in my bed and began checking my social feeds, as I did every morning.  My phone's battery was at 80%.  Odd, I thought.  I was sure I left it charging...

It wasn't until I padded downstairs and found the family at the dining table did it dawn - the power had been cut!  Ah, this couldn't last for long, surely! We lived in Australia after all...


The first day of having no power (on holidays) wasn't terrible.   I took the opportunity to catch up on some reading and light housework...I still had charge on my phone and didn't have the good sense to conserve it, so texting and surfing Facebook was all go.

The first night, exciting.  We set up candles, told stories, ate the leftovers in the fridge and slept early.  It was a fun adventure, but I looked forward to being able to waking up to power.  The high voltage fault would be repaired in the morning, they said.


After 36 hours, the reality of the situation begins to sink in and you begin to realise how much you depend on electricity.

Automatically turning on lights as you walk into a dark room, followed by the brief moment of confusion before you remember and use the torch.

Planning to organise the cupboard and making a "washing" pile, and an "ironing" pile...before you realise you can't do either of those easily without the good ol' spark.

I am forced to scam power from the local shops.

"Can I charge my phone here?".  I feel dirty.


The silence.

No radio, no refrigerator hum and by this stage, no iPod or phone...

It broached on almost being uncomfortably quiet.  Are we scared of silence?

I felt my thoughts clamouring, grasping at the silence, in an attempt to fill the void.  Is this the normal state of affairs, usually subdued and suppressed by the constant audio-visual stimuli we expose ourselves to?  I wondered...

I take the time for extra prayers.


Day three.

Awake, again.  I switch my phone on.

20% battery remaining.  Darn.

"Would you like to connect to the wireless network?" the phone alert demands attention.

No, no, no...

I paused.  The modem was working!

I run downstairs and check the clocks.  The hum of the refrigerator is back.

I breathe a sigh of relief, force the questions about energy dependence from my mind.  Time to charge my phone, check my emails, watch the news...


Friends commiserated with an element of wistfulness.  It must have been great to take time off technology!

It was, to an extent.

How do we place being dependent on electricity? I didn't like to think that I couldn't live without it - and clearly, can survive without it without being overly bored or concerned...just uncomfortable?

If however, in this day and age, electricity is such an integral part of our lives, how important is it that we live without it? Is it a skill worth acquiring?

Perhaps we should become more comfortable with silence.  After all, when else are we forced to face our thoughts, without competing stimuli?