Power and Powerlessness

It’s been 29 hours without power so far at the time I write this. The last time there was a power outage due to windy weather on this block, several years ago, it took them four days to fix it.

My mood right now can only be described as “crappy.” I got very little actual work done today, even though the power outage had no direct effect on my work environment: the lab has power and all the computers are buzzing merrily along. I was sleepy most of the day, even though I got more than full night’s sleep the previous night. I felt depressed and it was hard for me to focus on tasks.

I remember feeling the same way at that last big outage.

Thinking further back, I remember a time when I was 12 or so, and my bedroom was being re-carpeted. The installers did a terrible half-finished job, with scraps of carpet dangling all over the place; they had also stolen a couple of my toys. My father made a couple of outrage phone calls, and the next day different installers came and fixed the carpet. But that night, I couldn’t sleep in my own bedroom, though my bed was there; I slept on the downstairs sofa instead. It depressed me too much to be in that bedroom.

Noodling on it, I think the reason I feel this way is that I don’t do well when my sense of “home” has been compromised. As long as home is there, as long as I have a space somewhere that functions for me, I feel anchored. Take away that anchor and I’m adrift, even if I’m not even on that ship.

The answer? There is no answer: deal with it, Bill. There are people in this world without a roof over their heads, powered or not. You’re a lucky man.

But it’s still dark.

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  1. wgseligman

    At 37 hours (5AM this morning), the power came back. I have my home again.

  2. sabrinamari

    I missed this before. I’m sorry, honey—I understand how crappy it can feel to be dislodged and ungrounded from one’s safe space. I give you a virtual hug. At least you’ve been given the opportunity to see the pattern here, if nothing else.

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