I can do this.
Surrounded by all the dead wires and useless switches in my walls, this small thicket of four candles is all that I need.
All my life I’ve written my reams in long-hand: really, I have.
On writing-pads, in note-books, on the fly-leaves of novels, on the back of ATM slips – whenever the words rise to the surface, I catch them with a pen and gently cage them on a page. Later, I open the pages and release them into cyberspace.
I take a break on the balcony and it’s like waking up in another time. If it weren’t for the sound of cars and the northern suburb streetlights strung along the horizon, this could be a country hamlet from another century with only the glow of a lantern or a candle in the odd window.
I’m reading Thomas Hardy again. Without wires and switches, they were far better equipped for this. There were tools, fireplaces, chimneys, copper kettles, rotisseries, iron pots, fire-dogs, candle-snuffers, washing mangles and toasting forks to make life without electricity’s spark manageable.
If robbed of its spark, my modern and blank cube is less comforting than the cell of a dour monk. Luckily, I have words, paper and ink. And if my words are shy, I have the words of so many others, my candles and I.