Saturday, June 6, 2009

~quakes and tembles~

Here in San Francisco the ground has been shaking. Today an earthquake starting in Berkeley reverberated across the bay at 3:oo in the afternoon. Yesterday I felt one while I was sitting in my living room around 6:00 in the evening. I've heard all the theories about when they are most likely to happen-- some say it's when the moon is full, others when the day is a bright grey with warm winds. For some reason I'm highly sensitive to them--I'll be sitting with friends when one happens and look around wide-eyed at the people I'm sitting with who are consistently unamazed and disbelieving. Here's my favorite resource for determining whether I'm going crazy or not: In this map you'll these red lines which mark where the land has a fault line and is more prone to bumping around. San Francisco sits near the San Andreas fault line, created where two giant slices of land are running into one another, one over the other. The one with America on it, I believe, is the one going under. Brigid Mason told me she once was sitting in a parked car and saw the road furrow up and down past her like a giant mole was beneath the surface. My favorite story so far is one that Conrad Ruiz told me, in which he was running down the steps in his childhood home to leave the house during an earthquake and how the staircase seemed to buckle in front of him. It's still such a strange thing, this not being something I've ever experienced in the other places I've lived. But every place has it's own geographically specific danger-- in the Midwest the drunken tornadoes, the southern and east coast their foul hurricanes, and the Pacific Northwest the eerily active volcanoes. It's nice and humbling to be reminded that the earth is a jelly-centered writhing thing.

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