Power outages are a fact of life in Kenya, but I can't say I've gotten any more used to them yet.  No power means, no TV, no internet, no sewing, no cooking/baking... I can't even workout even if I wanted to as no hot water can be had for a shower afterwards.  As a matter of fact, no power eventually means no water period, hot or cold, as the pumps can't be powered to keep our tanks full.  And because one can never be sure how long the outage will last (sometimes they last for days, even up to a week), I hesitate to use the battery on my laptop, tablet, or phone unless it's for something absolutely necessary.  That said, for someone with Type A tendencies (such as yours truly), you can imagine that power outages are nothing short of tortuous.  

And yet, it did come as a surprise to me.  I've never been one to be into the latest and greatest of forthcoming gadgets.  You will never catch me waiting in line to buy the new just released smartphone.  I think it took me half a year before I downloaded my first app onto my phone.  My husband has lately started calling me a 'luddite' but really it's because I don't want to become a slave to a Blackberry or Twitter feed.   And yet, 30 minutes into any power outage has me reduced to the deepest sense of helplessness I've ever felt since being in diapers.  I swear it's like going through opiate withdrawal.

Last week our power was really spotty with multiple days of extended outages.  Friday was no exception as the power was out for 8 hours during the day.  I didn't feel like spending another $10 on a drink and snack  so that I could use the wifi at a cafe for the second time that week.  Instead, I tried to think of what else I could do that wouldn't require electricity.  I came to the conclusion that my only options were to read a book or to draw... well, really just draw as most of our library is stored on our tablets (geez!).  

So I sat down and put pencil to paper.  First, I needed to decide what to draw but after about 5 minutes of staring blankly at the page, I had nothing. I felt so lost.  I began to fear that I was so used to having the technology around me feed me new and interesting topics that I had completely lost the ability to conjure anything up with my own imagination.  In desperation, I defaulted to drawing horses.  I can't tell you how many years of my childhood I devoted to mastering the art of drawing horses.  I then spent the next 20 minutes in deep disappointment and frustration.  Like so many other things in life, drawing requires practice which I quickly found out I was woefully out of.  I think it had literally been years since the last time I last sat down to draw for leisure.

I was just about to launch pencil and paper at the wall when I took a deep breath and turned the page to try one last time.  I decided to start simple with geometric shapes which then turned into flowers.  I then moved on to other vegetation.  Before I knew it, I was back in the groove... so much so I hardly even realized when the power came back on.  The fruits of my labor (shown above) is hardly a Picasso or Pollack but I have to admit I'm pretty pleased with myself.  It was the first time in a long time that I had fun... without the help of company, food, or a piece of technology.  I did it with my own imagination.   


Post a Comment




Follow by Email

Be sure to get the latest and greatest of oinge by signing up for email updates!