Earth Moves

May 16, 2016

 

 

Today in Israel there was an earthquake—not a serious one, and not anywhere nearby—but I am thinking about how the earth moves in a different way. Leaving America is never easy, especially when you're coming back to the Middle East. Part of the problem is geoposition.

 

I wanted to write, once I got back, on the tilt that I felt, the physical change that I had noticed in the angle of the world. Further south, equatoring, I looked up at the sky here and saw that it looked deeper as it escaped the sun, all purple, bruised by too much light.

 

I can't feel these feelings anymore though, which shows you how you acclimate to the world. Your seat legs start to dig into the sand where you sit. Today, early this morning, there was an earthquake not far from here. It was not a powerful one, but enough to make me worry about the long crack that undermines the structure of the building where I live. Mostly everything is sand.

 

When I was moving between the cities on the East Coast, I was traveling through time as much as temperature. Down South, in Washington DC, spring had already started to wear itself out. Driving back to New York, everything seemed new. In Boston, a day later, it was still winter, and the trees would not open up for another week. I didn't feel like I wanted to call what I was doing a tour until that point, when I was moving between adjacent cities faster than the seasons. By the end of the week I spent in Boston, everything was seeds. By the time that happened, it was time to go home again.

 

Home to New York, but only temporarily.

 

I am writing during the longest sharav, a kind of desert heatwave, that Israel has experienced, following up the warmest April on record. There are fires breaking out because the air is so hot, because the world is so dry. In heat like this, sometimes all you are able to do is talk, it's too hot to move anything else. And when we want to fill the space up, the weather makes for good conversation.

 

 

[Top image from the cover of The Voyager Record. Art by Lillian Ling.]

 

 

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