A former high school classmate posted a picture of a lit lamp in his resort, Rock Lobster Boracay, in honour of Earth Hour 2014. Meanwhile, in Bekasi, I was also getting ready for my tribute to Mother Earth. Switching off all the fluorescent lights in the flat, I lighted my neatly arranged tea lights on the coffee table in the living room. Outside, the cacophony of angkot (Indonesia’s answer to Thailand’s tuk-tuk) ojek (a motorbike you flag down like a taxi and hire for a ride) and cars drifted through the dark mantle of the night. It was that time of year again when the whole world went old school, and I was ready.

The one hour and 10 minutes I gave to Mother Earth was surreal, as I adjusted to the darkness illuminated by only four tea lights. What is it with the darkness? Everything comes to a standstill including my thoughts that groped in the dark trying to find an anchor. It took a while to quiet my zipping thoughts, myself and let everything be. The darkness, I observed, grabs you and steadies you, hoping that you’d remain still as events fly past you. It wants you to forget about running around like a chicken with its head cut off and face questions such as, “What are you running to?”, “Why the rush?”, “Will one hour of quietude and darkness completely throw you off track?”

Going old school for Earth Hour 2014

Going old school for Earth Hour 2014

I sat on the sofa throughout Earth Hour and watch the flames dance. For the first time since the start of the school year at Global Prestasi School my mind was in complete tabula rasa. It was soothing; there were no feelings of regret, doubts, exasperation or sheer negativity or the need to think positively. The darkness was a wonderful respite from the antagonism of the world. It was a relief to just simply be.


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