Friday, March 11, 2011
Tricks of the Mind - Stories to Shake You
Both my older brother and I attended university in Los Angeles. There was just one year that we were in school at the same time and it happened to coincide with a major earthquake. One of the saving graces was that this one was in the wee hours of the morning. Had it hit later in the day, the effect would have been much more devastating.
I was still in bed sleeping. It's funny how one's mind can incorporate what is going around you into your dreams. I vividly remember dreaming I was inside a house trailer. What the dream was originally about escapes me, but what I do remember in great detail was that for some reason there were people outside rocking the trailer and I was shouting at them to stop. Silliest of all, I think I was in a caveman cartoon with Alley Oop. I woke up to find my bed rocking violently and the very LARGE pane glass window above my bed bowing in and out. The link between my dream and what I was experiencing in real life was so strong that I didn't realize what was happening until after it stopped. First thing I did was move my bed away from the window. The next thing I did was laugh at how my mind worked a very real earthquake into a cartoon dream.
My last family earthquake story is from my uncle who was a disaster area supervisor for the Red Cross. While in his late 50's/early 60's he was sent to San Francisco to help with the aftermath of a very large earthquake. One day he was driving his rental car down the freeway when an aftershock hit. As his brain tried to make peace with the quickly changing landscape, it landed on the idea of a stroke. He pulled over quickly in a panic as he didn't want to be driving when he became incapacitated and hit another car. He thought it was his time. Again, it was after the quake subsided that he was able to process what had just happened and realize he was fine. To say he smiled broadly in relief is an understatement.