We Interrupt This…

We have had a series of storms since I last posted. Storm Dudley started six consecutive days of power outages, landline disruption and no mobile signal, since that one was swiftly followed by Storms Eunice and Frederick. Living as we do in a rural outpost of Dowra we are prepared for storms and occasional blackouts, but this winter has been the most challenging power wise. Even the arctic winters of 2009/2010 and 2010/2011 did not pose challenges beyond snow and ice rink roads. Storm Barra was our first blackout, with some water pressure problems ensuing. Though we didn’t have the problems of friends in their eighth decade living further uphill from us who were without power for four days solid. They missed their telly, but coped otherwise. We do. But by the sixth day of random power outages I was certainly feeling a bit frayed at the edges. The prospect of snow overnight had me in full preparation mode, cooking at midday because cooking in twilight even by the glow of a head torch if you do have a gas stove has some challenges.

Sidebar: I never heard thundersnow and saw lightning in winter until I moved to Ireland. Don’t know if it is a unique weather feature to this island. Certainly the high winds are not unique and are the culprit for the power outs.

At any rate, in between blessing the Electricity Board crews and Eir phone repair people shinning up telephone poles in winds in excess of 43kph, my friend from South Africa reminded me that random daily power outs are what Johannesburg experiences all the time. So…counting my blessings even if I do feel a bit frazzled.

I was ringing the Electricity Fault Line so often my husband said that we have a t-shirt made for me emblazoned with the slogan “I am part of a known fault!”

But these interruptions are mere irritations when compared with the storms that have loomed on the international stage. But the experiences of the past ten days or so did give rise to certain reflections.

How to Undermine

Harry people until the unpredictability-
the routine dropped, changed priorities
diverting and disrupting-
unmoors them 
from the margins 
guard-railing their life.

Steal the sense of control 
over the small details that are
the adhesive tape holding the day together.
The day has got away from you,
hi-jacked, held hostage,

Make them feel robbed,
that the mortgage on life
has been foreclosed,
which is not fair.
It was supposed to be fair.
It was supposed to be fair!

Induce vertigo. Say that
the poles are switched, the globe’s axis
shifted, and everything is
especially the stomach.

is completely recognisable.
The labels’ meaning has 
reversed, so
you question that you have
properly understood.
Surely not, but…

Deny access to the mother lode.
When there is a cave in
say it was their own fault,
they had it coming.
Leave them believing lies.

3 thoughts on “We Interrupt This…

  1. Wow. That poem. It describes this epoch. Wishing you grace and patience and resilience and thanking you for sharing wisdom and what it feels like to live these days.


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