4 candles and one wall, all working in sync to project the rhythm of “A Summer’s Dream” playing through my speaker. No electricity to supply me enough light to write within the margins of my lined paper. Yet, my soul motions my digits to write. Each written letter seems to correspond with my thoughts. In this moment, I realize all of Nashville is at a pause. A well-lit city and its people sit in darkness throughout the night. A bad storm in Nashville is unwelcomed. This city can’t stand a power outage. Complaints are nonstop and people refuse to lower their standard of living to a sandwich and water for a night’s meal. All of this has me thinking. Are we too flashy and self-absorbed to notice the beauty in natural components? Do we need a constant power supply to illuminate our beautiful city or can we appreciate Luna’s effort to do the same?
I think about all of the summer nights I spent lying in my driveway looking up to Luna in amusement. Random questions would occupy my mind because I could not find an answer to them. Questions like, How does Luna know if her job is complete if she has never opened her eyes to see? How “full” can she truly become if parts of her are never fully sculpted? During this outage, I have stumbled upon a potential answer.
After twelve hours without power, this outage has taught me that some things are most transparent in the dark. Also, I learned shadows contribute to making something full. We are so used to being on-the-go and lit that we have forgotten how beautiful and revealing the darkness is. I watch as these four candles emit flames, tagging a mural on my golden wall. Tan breaks in the mural represent the functioning city in all its glory. However, the shadows reveal the darkening experience of those Nashvillians who will never see an end to their power outage but somehow make do with the little candlelight they have. I write of those whose power was out long before this night. In this moment of darkness, I feel their loss. A loss of power and control over what I can see and do about this circumstance. Losses like these forces us to recall our surroundings from memory. I walk my house catching myself by holding my hands out before me. Even finding the nearest lighter can sometimes seem tougher than breathing. I didn’t realize how hard lighters are to find when you’re not a smoker!
Now, image having to endure this every day. While the rest of Nashville reports over 30,000 power outages to NES, those Nashvillians who’ve been without power goes to bed with empty bellies. This mural detailing on my wall portrays those we leave behind in our daily living. It goes without saying that as soon as my lights are back on, the essence of this mural will be gone. Hidden by light, back by dark! I guess I write all of this to say we need to familiarize ourselves with the fundamentals. The fundamentals are crucial to understanding how and why something operates the way that it does. Just as the moon provides light to the world, a shadow can still be found somewhere. Pay just as much attention to what’s hidden in those shadows. Sometimes, it requires recognition to appreciate the things we complain about. Personally, I enjoy power outages for these reasons. I get to complete writing projects, find alternative ways to light up a small area, and listen to jazz! Some find it bothersome when the humidity kicks in but then again, that’s summer!
Feel free to share what you did during the blackout below!
Creator of everything you see on here.