Dec 18, 2004

Origami by candlelight*.

It's been a hectic week for your humble narrator, what with this holiday thing and all. Thursday was the worst, and I was stressing when I got home from work. I had to pick up my things, help my carless neighbor pick up his TV, then get my packages out. Most importantly, I had promised to make some origami earrings for a friend at my old job, and I needed to get them out by tomorrow so she could give them out as gifts.

So, after feeding the cat, I ran out w/my neighbor to do my errands, managed to scrunch his set into my car, helped him get it to his apartment, and finally, frazzled and tired from my unaccustomed physical activity, I sat down to do the earrings.

I was almost done with the third pair of six when the lights flashed suddenly and flickered for five minutes straight. Then, out.

Of course.

I sat there in the darkness for a few minutes.

Then, lighting a candle in and placing it in an Oriental-themed lamp I had received for my birthday but rarely used since the cat liked to knock it around, I finished the final fold on my third pair.

And just like that, the urgency of the tasks ahead of me melted away.

I rummaged and found my flashlight and continued to fold (hence the asterisk on the title of this entry), and finished a fourth pair. By then, police and fire trucks had gathered outside my complex, and I went out to take a look.

I ran into my carless neighbor; the transformer had blown, and power wouldn't be back until one in the morning. I chuckled. What else could you do? Another neighbor lamented that she was going to do Christmas cookies tonight. I hoped she hadn't started, and had raw dough congealing in the useless oven.

My neighbor needed a flashlight, and I needed a break, so we went out to our mall and while he picked up his things I finished my Christmas shopping. Hey, productivity!

I returned home and continued to fold. The darkness and stillness outside reminded me of other quiet nights in my life; camping with my family in Minnesota and Canada, watching the sky by the embers of the campfire.

And I folded slowly and carefully, finishing the earrings. I packed them away and then started working on my other packages. Halfway through, I realized I was getting tired and making mistakes, so they could wait until Saturday. And it wasn't the catastrophe I thought it would be.

I crawled into bed, where my stubby-tailed cat joined me for warmth, and I called it a night.

Don't get me wrong, I'm no Luddite. I was relieved when the appliances burst into life around six in the morning, if for no other reason that I have electric heat and it was getting pretty freakin' cold.

But all in all, I was able to get out the one package I wanted on Friday, and work on the others (just mailed out a batch, the others will go out on Monday), and when you get right down to it, origami by candlelight* is a beautiful thing.

I'll do it again sometime. Without the blackout.