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Mount Orégano
Sue Burke
An impossible moment 
14th-Aug-2013 03:59 pm
I grew up in Milwaukee on the west shore of Lake Michigan, and my family had a summer cottage on the west shore of Green Lake in Wisconsin. The idea that sun rose over water — in the east — was deeply ingrained.

So one evening I was sitting with a friend at a seaside restaurant in Los Angeles, and I saw that the sun was setting over water. That meant it was setting in the east!


Had the Earth reversed its orbit? I looked around in a sudden panic. Other people chatted happily, enjoying their dinner. Was I the only one who had noticed?

And if the Earth had reversed its orbit or the sun had gone rogue or whatever, that would have had serious consequences: giant earthquakes, maybe. Yet even though we were in Los Angeles, the ground remained steady.

Oh, right, Los Angeles. Pacific Ocean. In the west. It’s okay.

But for a terrifying and astounding instant, the cosmos had gone completely wrong. That impossible moment, that enormous feeling, has always been one of my treasures.

— Sue Burke
28th-Aug-2013 01:56 pm (UTC)
I understand precisely that moment of extreme awe, and panic, as you think you're seeing/experiencing something that's not possible, and yet, manifestly, it's happening. Suddenly the world is stranger-deeper-wider.

And sometimes the explanations are mundane, but sometimes they're rather rich and strange, like your alarm clock/phone one :-)
28th-Aug-2013 06:52 pm (UTC)
These things don't happen often, but for a moment, yes, the world hand changed.
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