Saturday, July 15, 2006

Waiter! Earthquake for one, please.

I received a piece of news today. The sort of news that's lamentable, sobering, pulse-quickening, joyful, and heartbreaking, all at once. It's the sort of news that at first isn't very remarkable, but gradually you begin to spiral around it. And as you go around, you get further away. It touches more things that you didn't even think were connected. As you speed up, you feel the strange unsettled feeling that some people call "butterflies". That feeling that you've just been stretched out, and no longer have your proper center of gravity, and you really need to sit down because your head is heavy, and your neck feels thin.

And every time you spin around, you keep seeing the center, the first time you heard the news. You can see how far the spiral has become. And even if you close your eyes, you still feel the motion. Everything is in flux, there is little to hold on to. Every thing, every feeling, every thought is moving relative to everything else. No place to hold on.

An earthquake.

But eventually, you can't see the center anymore. You're too far out on the spiral to see back that far. You can't feel the dizzying motion anymore, just as you can't feel the Earth move about the sun. Everything calms down. And the spiral, instead of feeling like a racetrack you're trapped on, is only really ripples on a pond. Waves that barely disturb the surface, until even they vanish.

Then, you relax.

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