100-Day Challenge – Day 3

Rip off a piece of paper and turn off the lights. Begin writing on the paper, but make sure you cannot see what or where you’re writing it. After 25 minutes, destroy the paper completely.

What did you write on that paper that you couldn’t write before? Did the “anonymity” of the writing help you bring out things that you previously couldn’t?

Length: 25 Minutes

^ ^ ^

While I wish to participate in this day-three exercise I have no desire to shut myself in a closet or any other dark place to accomplish. Instead, I’d rather relate a darkroom experience that occurred nearly thirty years ago.

I earned my amateur radio license in January of 1989. Because of the class of my license I was only authorized to communicate using Morse code. Though I was very slow at copying code that was okay with me. I was not in a contest, I was doing this for personal my enjoyment.

My home was in the northwestern portion of the United States. In order to keep peace with the family while making my dit dit dit sounds, I established my station up in a thirteen-foot travel trailer. Because of the directional orientation of my wire antenna most of my contacts were in Mexico, California, and Canada. Sometime during that first winter I made a friend in Southern California whose call sign has faded into the misty past. I don’t know how I would ever recognize him in my radio log. So I’ll call him Pete.

Pete worked in a General Motors Assembly Plant and every night shortly before my bedtime I often answered his call, his CQ. And I would ride with him, so to speak, while traveled the Hollywood Freeway on his way home. I copied his response with pencil and paper while he copied mine in his head in more of a conversational manner, remembering my many questions, his telegraph key resting in the seat beside him. The routine continued for a few weeks and we became good friends from afar, as it were.

One night I decided to even the odds a bit. I was not driving a car, so that was out, but I could switch off the light and also operate in the dark like he was.

What happened the moment the light was extinguished was unreal. My sending speed was reduced by at least half. And that which I sent was mostly garbage. I quickly turned it back to him. Nothing he sent made any sense. In that brief instant I had become Morse illiterate. Desperately, I switched the light back on and everything returned to normal. It was a Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde experience

What does light have to do with hand/ear coordination? I have no idea.

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