Saturday, April 29, 2017

Mortification and Power Cuts

I'm revising my book. I'm wondering a little over this passage, where I'm writing about the concept of mortification:

"On the other hand, our culture can often be quite fascinated by mortification. This displays itself in surprising way. Reader, have you ever experienced a lengthy power cut? If you have, the chances are that you have rather fond memories of it. When the electricity fails, people are thrown onto their own imaginations; telling stories, playing charades, making shadow puppets on the wall by the light of a candle. It may seem a trivial example, but it shows how a deprivation can actually enrich us."

 I don't know what people will make of this. My own experience of power cuts, growing up, were interruptions in electricity that usually lasted a few hours. But in America, as I witnessed in my time there, power cuts can commonly last days. Maybe my nostalgic memory of power cuts are unusual.

Is this a stupid comparison?


  1. my son turns everything off yearly for earth hour. the feel is nice when it's only for a little while. an academic remarked At the turn of the millennium when Celtic spirituality and saints were becoming the rage that it would be interesting to see whether these people who are crying for a return to the pre synod of Whitby times would be enthusiastic about the severe penance and austerity of the early Celtic church.

  2. Can't see it being any harm, it's certainly not stupid, but of course blackouts may seem more serious to some than others depending on what they've experienced

  3. I often forget that heating is quite a consideration in some places also. When I was small it was mostly coal fires in Dublin houses; I'm not sure what ratio use electricity for heat now? A lady who now lives in Perth but spent most of her life in Singapore-she's ethnically Indian-has been to Dublin twice in recent years for two of her grandchildren's weddings, both at St Mary's (pro) cathedral(and she was happy to see a saint named Margaret in the porch as that's her name). As she finds winter in Perth unbearable I asked her how she survived Ireland, even if it wasn't winter?
    If you can imagine her strong Indian accent.."we had FIRE!, big fire IN THE HOUSE darling!... And we wear big coats...(and then her face lights up) and we take little drink also!"