There seem to be a lot of earthquakes lately. What I don’t know is if it is always this way.

I have started checking this site a lot:

It’s actually amazing that I have not obsessed on this before. I have worried, deeply, about so many things. Threat-like things. BPA, phthalates, flame retardants, plane crashes, choking hazards, PVC, formaldehyde-based adhesives, parabens, chemical sunblocks, pesticides…

I was awake for and aware of three significant though small and short earthquakes in the last two weeks. And then a friend called to ask if I was worried. And then I finally ordered an earthquake preparedness kit, which still hasn’t arrived.

But it better get here by Tuesday.

Because then I read this post: Earthquakes, Epiphanies, and Kirsten Dunst, Part 2.

And now I’m feeling like the end of days is nigh. November 8 nigh.

The weird thing about two of the earthquakes is I felt them before they happened. In that way that animals get all antsy just before a quake. I had a distinctly tense and uncomfortable experience in my body and then… rumble bang.

The problem here is, you take a person like myself who is, shall we say, somewhat prone to worry, and give my brain the impression that I am prescient about earthquakes, mix in a scientific theory based on the trajectory of asteroids and, well…

How was your day?

I recall, after the Loma Prieta quake of 1989, that whenever I felt something like movement in the solid world around me, my heart rate would shoot up. Often it was literally my own pulse, setting me off.

I hardly remember the sensation of the quake itself. What I do remember is that I was at my aerobics class. We were all sitting on the wood floor, facing the mirror, in evenly spaced rows, waiting for the class to begin. Suddenly the floor was moving. We all looked around. No one was exercising. We realized simultaneously that this was not a good thing.

All of us ran to the front doorway, which had a metal-reinforced frame. We huddled, packed together like spandex-wrapped sardines.

When the shaking stopped, we returned to our spots. The teacher put on THAT song (“I feel the earth (uh) move (uh) under my feet…)

Funny, right?

We went on to do our usual class.

Afterward, I walked outside of the building and onto Telegraph Avenue. Everyone seemed… strange.

There were several of those double-bladed military helicopters overhead.

I walked the six blocks back to the rooming house where I lived. That’s when I found out that the Bay Bridge had fallen and the Marina District was on fire. I called my parents to let them know I was okay, got through on the first try, which was miraculous since the phone system was completely overloaded. I wasn’t able to make or receive another call that day.

The thing about the recent earthquakes is, I had the unpleasant realization that I’ve been really stressed out for a really long time over things that don’t really matter. Or they do matter, but somehow they’ve overtaken everything and sometimes I’m so distracted with my worries about money and work and medical insurance and our house and the laundry and the dishes and Jonah’s education and planning his birthday party and who I’m going to be when I grow up and and and… that I have not been able to be present and loving with my family.

And now there’s less than two days to turn this ship around.

Not really. I mean, probably not really.


5 comments for “earthquakes

  1. November 7, 2011 at 6:53 am

    We all get into those cycles, that we aren’t present in our own lives. The best part is you know you are in it, so you can change it.

  2. laura
    November 7, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    DEFINITELY not really. I’ll take you out for ice cream on November 9. All will be well.

  3. November 7, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    @Heather: Thank you for the reassurance. Seeing the awareness as a positive helps!

    @Laura: Let’s hit Tara’s:

  4. November 7, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    I get the post- quake jumpies. After the Northridge quake, all little rumblings made me hyperventilate. Escaped to Pacifica, ironically.

    I also relate to being present only to my worries. For me, it’s a super way to resist my life and limit my joy. So now, when I notice I’m doing it, I deliberately turn my attention to something joyous in my life (there’s so much!) and practice feeling good and expanding. It’s easier than I expected but I need A LOT of practice. So, yes. Awareness, definitely positive!

  5. November 7, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    @Lyena: Remembering to turn my attention towards joy – that’s a big one! Will start… NOW!

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