Suddenly a bump, a surge under foot. We look around for a sign that what we felt was real and we ask the others if they felt it too. Most of them didn’t. They tell us that we are just being paranoid and laugh belligerently in protest.
We turn up the radio a bit to settle the argument, but there isn’t a ripple of news in the saccharine swell of the Ocean 98.5. Songs that were designed with interruption in mind remain miraculously in tact. No breaking stories. No emergency transmission. Our fleeting suspicions rapidly begin to dwindle.
But we are vindicated by the 3:30 news. It relays isolated reports of puppies hiding under beds in Sooke, of plants being shaken from their table top perches in Metchosin. No fatalities of course, otherwise serious news reporters joke, and certainly no risk of tsunami– just a wee 3.0 about twenty kilometers west of town.
We return home to find everything predictably in tact: maybe a couple books sprawled out below a dusty shelf, but they were likely forced to the floor by the gravity of our early morning haste. The walls reveal not the slightest crack, even corner cobwebs are undisturbed. Nothing is out of place here.
By dusk, most of us have completely forgotten about the quake. Its memory will be resurrected occasionally in the small-talk of coming days, but is ultimately destined to disappear under the tarnish of summer’s incessant sun.
Only in dream do we succumb to the subtlety of earth’s sudden shift. The comforting face of a lover, now held aloft by a longer light, is inexplicably estranged to our lashes. Strains of a neighbor’s ancient violin yield to our ears from above instead of below. Yes, change is slow to conquer. She arrives at our tent in a familiar skin, vanishing as soon as we pull back the canvas and leaving us only a decaying remnant of her broken shadow to honour our welcome.
Dream’s change in hue makes us reluctant to rise. We ignore even the laziest sparrow’s song in favor of another eternity here, where things have changed. We shift positions under sunlit sheets and we hit snooze well into the afternoon to afford further exploration of this, a revitalized landscape of dream.
There is more oxygen here, though we’ve always been unsure as to whether or not we need it. The hills are less daunting, and the valleys more refreshing. More time for repose commands us put things away. We speak to various composites of friends who make a ritual of welcoming us to our own interior world– their words are set to the languid music of water on stone.