Helplessness, confusion, inadequacy.
The realization that you can do nothing to solve this problem. The knowledge that, even given a chance, you wouldn't know where to begin or what to do. It is out of your control and you are left destitute.
Sitting, overcome by darkness.
Grasping for any flicker of light. A small spark of hope. Anything to help you see your way through.
You call upon your very best attributes, searching for a trait that will make a difference, finally realizing that there is only one virtue that can get you through this. And it's one you fear you possess only in small quantities.
Patience. Powerlessness can be overcome only by patience*.
I think we've all felt this before. I know I did on Tuesday night when the electricity went out in our neighborhood for about an hour. What would we do without POWER!?!
*unless you're the guy fixing the electrical lines, that is.
Well, what I did without power was search in the dark EVERYWHERE for the dang matches which are always where they weren't that night. After groping in the dark for over 5 minutes (completely messing up my cupboards) David says, "Hey!! Let's open the fridge!" I give a big laugh of relief and say, "DUH!! Perfect!!" as that scene from Wait Until Dark flashes through my mind. He starts to open the door, but even before we experience the lack of light it releases, all of us say, "Oh yeah." And we all start laughing.
After creeping slowly around the house for 15 minutes we found matches and lit the candles. We sat in the living room enjoying the candle light. When we realized that this was going to be a pretty long black-out, Evie starts doing her homework by candle-light. She comes to me for help with a story problem. I twist and turn my brain and can NOT figure out how to solve it. I say, "Gosh Ev, I have NO IDEA how to do this!" She says, "I know. My teacher from math knows how to do it." Which causes me to laugh hysterically for some reason. Really? Your teacher can do it? (This also made me realize that she's never heard anyone say "math teacher" so she just translated literally from Polish. Her teacher from math. Funny.)
I tell the children of days gone by. How,like in the books I love most to read, they spent every evening by candle light. How they would "call on" each other. They played cards and listened to each other play and sing music. They conversed. And all in lighting similar to that which we were sitting in. The kids were fascinated by this. After a while, though, David said, "I want to go to bed." It wasn't yet seven o'clock. About fifteen minutes earlier Aaron had come to me and kept saying, "Night night. Niiiiight night." It made us sleepy, that dim, warm light.
And soon thereafter the power came back on. Empowerment? I guess so, but we were sad to come to the end of our adventure.
The bright light hurt my eyes.
Electricity is boring.