Monday, June 4, 2012 9:32:20 AM
In northern Italy, people are scared. Since last May 20th, multiple earthquakes are shaking historical cities, killing good-willed workers and prompting so many souls to stand proud in the middle of the surrounding catastrophe. I heard this morning, that rain isn't helping. I heard since the beginning of this uncontrollable, unexpected phenomenon, that so many are experiencing panic attacks. They feel unsafe, their former lives disrupted. I understand them very well. Perhaps they couldn't do the same before with respect to other kinds of earthquakes, though. Those earthquakes that shake a minority of people from within. I heard comments on TV asserting the population will get over all this, and certainly recover. I'd like to hypothesize, though: what if it lasts for years? What if it lasted for twenty years? What if it kept shaking the cities' still-standing buildings until everything crumbled and was left into pieces? Will you still stand? Somewhere else, maybe. I heard a mother speaking of her two-year-old child, saying he was scared of being let down on the ground. I apparently had the same reaction when left at the nursery, at the same age. It seems I feared what I though to be cracks in the ground, where they really were nothing more than darker linings in a linoleum floor. I don't remember that consciously, but mum does. There was no quake, just unfamiliar ground below. But fear was the same. I heard people addressing fear and panic by use of anti-anxiety drugs. I always tried to avoid those, except in the very worst of moments. In 1991, when the "quake within" hit me like never before, I kept running out of the house. Like they do in these days. Those proud people. Welcome to the club. Not really, because I suppose you can always run for an effective solution to your unexpected problem. Sure, it means leaving everything behind for an unknown future, a future you could always rebuild somewhere else, at least you'd be free from that overwhelming fear of the shaking ground below. Some people can't escape their own quake. They can run, but the quake follows them. They end up spending decades in their own personal state of emergency, frowning at the weather making it worse, eschewing life around they can't follow, hardly caring to even try building one for themselves since they know it could be brought down soon by the very next shake. They couldn't be bothered less by a quake taking place outside, all around. They're sadly used to that feeling, and know at least that one can be avoided. Or it may finally kill them.