Saturday, July 6, 2019

A Whole Lot of Shakin' Going On

Reader, we are fine so far after two of the biggest earthquakes we've felt in the twenty years I've lived here. Last night I went outside a bit after dinner and stood in the front yard looking up at the sky. It was a beautiful night, a typical glorious southern California clearness to the air and the temperature, and I noted how quiet it was -- no sirens, no voices, no birds. No birds.

I do not like earthquakes. I do not find them exciting, particularly when they happen really close to one another. I do find them similar, in some ways, to living with a person who has uncontrolled seizures. That means that I never get used to them. They come out of nowhere, cause the same burst of cortisol (or is it adrenaline), and one makes you feel nauseous and like you can't trust the ground under your feet while the other makes you feel nauseous and like you can't trust -- well -- anything. So, I generally practice being mindful, or at least try to be mindful even as I dissociate a bit during Sophie's seizures and marvel/wonder/holy shit! during earthquakes. But we're fine, honestly -- taking stock of emergency supplies, wondering if the 30 gallon container of water in the backyard shed is still good and whether I should go ahead and pack a "to go" bag specifically for Sophie and her meds.

Those meds control Sophie's seizures about as well as preparing for an earthquake controls my nerves. We could stretch out that metaphor to say that all is vanity and there's nothing new under the sun.

I read something the other day about the importance of a belief system -- higher power, etc. etc.  to allay anxiety. I remember feeling somewhat faithful in my Catholic childhood and early adulthood, was obsessed, briefly, with the lives of the saints and even went to a Billy Graham revival with my Bible beater college friends, but when I look back and read back (lots of religious agonizing in the journals), from this vantage point of general/relative unbelief in any higher power other than the universe itself and, of course,  love, love love, I'm struck by how I labored to believe and how the whole religious thing banks on the myth that it takes labor to believe, to love, to have faith, etc.




to those I've engaged with over the last few days who argue semantics (the term concentration camp) and wave their silly flags and insist on the rule of law and God and Jesus and prayers and then exclaim should we just let them WALK over the border, then? and bite into their charbroiled burgers and slide some mustard over their hotdogs and watch some hulked up millionaire swing a bat at a ball as American as pie.

Speaking of pie, The Gig Economy Worker made seven peach pies this week and is taking orders for the rest of the summer.

(I picked those donut peaches from a friend's tree, a tree that had a ridiculous number of peaches and bowed branches, so heavy was its fruit. Alas, the taste was not as sweet and generous as the number, so I used very ripe, very delicious peaches from Trader Joe's)


  1. Beautiful pie, beautiful donut peaches, beautiful writing, as for the rest of it, be safe, dear friend. And why not pack that go bag for Sophie. Can't hurt.

  2. That pastry is perfection.
    I don't think I could live on a fault line. But then it's be scared to move fast from home too. I'm a wimp in every direction.

  3. I read your blog but never comment. I lived in Laguna Beach for many years and even with an inactive fault we had lots of quakes. Palm Spring also.
    Keep a supply of food and water and a bag to go. Is all you can do. Be well,
    I am happy to know you are fine

  4. Your Peach Pie looks sublime, the Peaches lovely even if they weren't as tasty as anticipated, just the bounty of picking Fresh Fruit still appeals to me strongly. We felt the 7.1 Quake all the way into the Phoenix Metro area, tho' not as strongly as Las Vegas and of coarse Cali, where my Brother lives. He called The Man while I was still coming Home from Work, unawares of the happenings. I agree with the comparisons between uncontrolled illness and Natural Disasters, similar feelings evoked on the most basic levels. Hopefully the aftershocks aren't creating more misery? Be Safe... be Well.

  5. Like a seizure. Yes. You do not need another earthquake.

  6. I have often thought it would be tremendous to believe in a higher power but no matter which way I come at it, I just can't make it work in my mind. Especially not the kind you can pray to. Especially not the kind who can grant favors to some and ignore the suffering of others. Especially not the kind who would turn a blind eye to what we're doing to those seeking asylum in our country.
    Just let them walk over the border? Sure. Why not?
    Stay safe. Or as safe as you can.
    Your pies look divine.

  7. I believe in the divine but I'm not sure what form that takes. I pray every night, everyday and have done since I was a child. It helps me. It helps me be thankful and I can feel like I'm doing something. Like loving kindness meditation, adding love to a world that so desperately needs it.

    Your mention of saints reminded me of Saint Monica. I have two friends called Monica and I just found out that there is a saint by that name. I looked her up. She is the patron saint of difficult marriages and disappointing children. Apparently I have found my saint:)

  8. I'm watching the latest 'Madame Secretary' on Netflix and they did an episode of migrants at the southern border. I wept through the episode watching a humane POTUS and an outraged Cabinet reunite mothers with their terrified children. O if it were only true.

  9. I wondered how you all fared during the earthquakes. Glad you're OK! I've never been able to talk myself into a literal belief in God, but I do believe in the power of peace, love and compassion -- and I suppose that's a belief system, right?

    1. Oh, and that pie looks AMAZING. I love peach pie! Haven't had it in years!

  10. Glad everything is fine there. I read somewhere that you should only keep water for six months. I guess I should through away those three gallons that I have in the pantry...for the last three years.
    My peaches came from Trader Joe's too. They are so delicious and cheap, that I usually wind up buying 5-6 cases over the time that they are in. God, your pie looks fantastic.
    Did I miss it, or has there been a second installment on the saga of the rats? I'm dying to know what happened.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...