Is there a world anymore without electricity? Here in the countryside, we lose our electricity once in awhile for a few hours. It is always an event, special, unusual; we get out the candles. It made me wonder about shutting off voluntarily. Could I amuse myself for 48 hours without turning on, well…anything? Would it be “cruel and unusual punishment” to be completely unplugged?
Imagine unplugging, just for a couple days. You wake and light a candle. You notice how easy it is to get around in the house with just one candle in a room. You shy away from reading or chopping vegetables until you have daylight, but you can think, write, exercise and do most household chores. You can also observe the dawn and notice subtle changes in light as the day progresses. Overcast? More candles.
When I unplug, I notice that shadows are softer. The flicker of a candle evokes a pleasant nostalgia, memories from a time before my own memories. I tend to see impulses for what they are, fleeting. I become capable of having a curiosity that is not immediately satisfied with a google entry. I live with fewer answers and more wondering.
Don’t turn a switch to the on position for two days, 48 hours. Okay, leave the refrigerator plugged in, and the furnace going, but everything else is off. You know the airline rules for takeoff and landing? Like that. Anything with an on/off switch needs to be in the off position. No computer, no telephone, no TV or radio. (I can almost promise the world will be there when you get back.)
No electric lights. No fan or vacuum or dishwasher. No coffeemaker (this was a shocking realization for me). If it is winter and you live in a northern latitude, a full moon with clear skies helps, especially if you are a first time unplugger. Enjoy the quiet!