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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Capturing the Moment

Though it happened a couple of weeks ago, my mind keeps reflecting on the first seconds of the "Mineral Earthquake."   This is because it was such a distortion of reality and even a very rude imposition upon perception.

Except for the Arabs in their tents and the Mongolians in their yurts, we all expect our houses or any other building that we happen to be in to be rock solid and never to move.  This must come from all those eons of hustling the bears and other things out of caves, from South Africa to Lapland, and living in those places ourselves. and also it's because ordinarily things do conform with our expectations and our structures never do move.  But that was what happened, though in the first couple of seconds my mind actively resisted the notion, because in real life it just couldn't happen.   My wonderful house that I designed myself and for which I hustled up the materials myself and that I bolted and nailed together myself was doing just that.   For no good reason suddenly the whole thing was actually moving, especially up near the ceiling, and not just a little but a whole lot, by about a foot, it seemed, though that couldn't have been true, or else every window in the house might have been broken, a gigantic bummer that I've been having no trouble imagining.

And also there was the accompanying sound of a fast-approaching vehicle of some kind that was at least a hundred feet wide and was rolling louder and louder down the road and was about to crash into my house in just a few more seconds!

Going by numerous reports I've read on the experience of others who felt the shock, from Atlanta to Chicago and up into Canada, that "enormous truck" sound was heard only by those close to the epicenter, which in our case I calculate was only about 65 miles northeast of here. 

I'm glad that solid reality set in again, no more than 25 seconds after existence threatened to go somewhere else, where I definitely didn't want to be.

I never had time to worry about getting hurt or even killed.  All I could think about was what the quake might be doing to my precious house, though that turned out to be, as far as I've been able to see, precisely nothing -- unless the house is collaborating with the earth, in keeping secrets.  

Things were a little different, up there in li'l ol' Mineral.   A friend of ours happened to be in Mineral that day, doing some social work.   She was sitting on the back seat of her car, jotting down some notes, and she said the quake threw her completely out of the car.  And also there was a lot of damage in Mineral, with broken glass everywhere and things thrown off shelves and so forth.  And there the whole matter stood.


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