A four magnitude earthquake struck nearly underneath us this morning. Woke me up to jump from bed and check my kids. I hadn’t slept well because of the heat, was only sound asleep after awakening twice to my wife’s phone, once while I drifted to sleep and once when the thing began to sing joyfully Time To Get Up, at 5:15 p.m. Honestly I didn’t mind the song at five a.m. as much as the percussive, single bleat from the phone after ten p.m. Then the earthquake hit and I felt its aftershocks in my chest as I lay aching and on one of our beds with my kids and the trembling dog. I wasn’t trembling, exactly, but must have been processing stress hormones from being shaken awake to a momentary fear that it was the Big One.
I end up in my Uber, reviewing the morning. The wind blows gently, as though I’m not riding in Berkeley but the tropics. I think to put on my headphones and realize the breeze draws my attention to the peaceful outside world. No need for headphones if Berkeley is Bangkok this morning. Later I write in the BART through the Berkeley Hills to Orinda. It’s peaceful also, and I’m not late. At all. What will I do to find stress, to bring on the stress hormones? I can find something of course.
Instead of Uber I have BART again. Time flies as the cool train sighs through the tunnels. I arrive. No time to finish this, but do I control time? I stop and look back at the BART tunnel ride from another place another time, another glass of wine, this time with papadam and shrimp. So, no, I don’t control time, yet I may turn this way and that to take perspective as it sweeps me along. The memory of sighing BART brings me a certain peace now fifteen minutes before I must present for a listing, one day after a hot, uncomfortable standing BART ride, two days after that quiet contemplative ride on BART, one hour and twenty-three minutes before a high-flying midday ride to El Cerrito on, yes, BART. And the presentation is cancelled and my day is changed, yet I’ll return to BART and Uber in transit with no final place.