January 17 is the 20 year anniversary of the Northridge earthquake. I remember it clearly. I lived in a triplex in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles and at 4:31 am the entire building shook like a giant maraca. I was awakened out of a deep sleep, and all I knew to do was to cover my head with my blankets!
During the day I walked over to the Hollywood area and saw a four or five story apartment building that had lost one entire side. Just gone. The structure looked like an oversized dollhouse with all the furnishings still there. Surreal. My neighbor’s house outside my kitchen window was equally surreal. The brick chimney was a pile of bricks in the yard and what was formerly a back deck was split off from the house at an odd angle. Oblique sculpture.
Metaphorically one can experience earthquake-like life events that are equally jolting. In my case, the sudden death of my best friend and my mother’s attempted suicide within the same year created seismic readjustments of large Richter magnitude.
What life events have jolted you to the core? How did you cope?
Photo of the Santa Monica Library, Fairview Branch, following the Northridge Earthquake, courtesy library archives.