Mind the space. Mind the transition step. Be mindful of the arrival, the new landing place, the change in height. Watch out for systems failing. Be ready for Cascadia slippage and the new flattened horizon of West Coast cities. Look carefully at the shifting values of money; of governments; of societal structure. The train ride we have been on has lulled us. As we slumped tiredly against the side of the car, the rhythm gently banged our heads. Moving. Moving. Moving. Moving.
We knew we were in arrival mode. But all of the murmuring of seismic specialist; all of the three part harmony singing of financial analysts was just muzak. We could feel we were in a tunnel… we could not see the future. It was all somehow shifting.
We knew it but we didn’t know it. We could repeat the lyrics occasionally. There was no sharp edged definition to the messages. It was just white noise. It was just the sound of the wheels on the track.
Japan suffered the loss of 25,000 people in the shocking blink of an eye. The names of far away nations, or unrecognized cities are repeated on the news as they sink into a new configuration on the earth.
The geologists standing in the debris of former quake areas take soil profiles and warn us the big one is coming. And we are lulled by the very repetition of the prophecy.
“Yeah. Yeah,” we say. “We have heard it before.”
Japan was careful. Japan built for a “little” earthquake. It prepared for a less intense tsunami. When it hit, the massive force of the water just slid easily over all the carefully engineered walls and barriers.
But North America has done none of the preparatory work.
North America is optimistic.
The debt load is the highest in history. In North America, Jim Rogers, a financial specialist, tells us we are spending on two things:
1. We are spending to keep enemies. 2. We are spending to purchase status.
In Asia, he reminds us people are focused on investing in education, making business partners out of other nations and finding technological advances that will solve problems.
This year’s expedition of scientists who ship out to measure the icebergs could not set forth. It was too dangerous. The ice is melting too fast. The sheering face of the icebergs can no longer be approached. Too many ships are reporting distress who are in the seas where the icebergs are found so a secondary concern is that the ship built for studying icebergs cannot leave other ships to flounder and sink.
The water level is rising. Flooding is becoming a reality. People are learning what “ground water” means.
We say, “It is an incident.” We refuse to see it is a new reality.
Scientists have stood on the hillside wrapped in their print outs of papers, mumbling out to us their data like some Druid choir. And we have not listening. We heard it all before and we don’t believe any of it. Yet.
The train ride is hypnotic. We think we will just travel. We think that it will be the same as always. The warnings are just muzak and we cannot quite make out the words.
But the train is coming into the station. We will leave our encasing structure of how it has been as long as we can remember. We will leave the sense of wheels turning over exactly as they have been.
The train will slow down and arrive at the station. We will have to get out, to get off, to step onto the new platform.
Somewhere a voice will call out, “Mind the gap.”
And everything will have changed.