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Geological timescales

July 22, 2013

I don’t mean to make it all about me, but reading the news, watching the videos, and especially seeing the photos from Wellington tonight I realised I’m not ‘over it’ yet. Just as I’d turned on the ignition in my car after meeting my mum for coffee at C1 I could feel my car wobbling, and wondered if my engine was about to explode everywhere or something. Somehow I didn’t even think it might have been a distant quake – I guess this is what people in Wellington felt a couple of years ago.

I also spent a few hours walking around the central city today and checking out the burnt out wreckage on High Street, trying to remember what used to be where and generally feeling aware of what the city is now. Emotionally this wandering hasn’t made me feel weird, either today, or anytime since things started opening up. Before coffee I checked out the Physics Room above Alice’s (great by the way) and was conscious of how much of a pleasant relief it was to spend some time in a little gallery after I’d been window shopping for nothing much. The city is coming back and it’s gonna be great!

Driving back down Manchester street I remembered some ridiculous nights in Shooters, and then went past the now sign-less place where one of my brother’s friends was crushed in February and a wave of pain came and went a bit unexpectedly. But when I got home and checked out the news was when I really got reminded of how messed up it things were, even for me who on a 1 to 10 scale of personal and material loss was probably a 1 or 2. First thinking about how there was a ‘moderate’ hit to Wellington, and then a big one, and how terrifying it is to really know how it can always be worse no matter what the past had given you. Then remembering back to nights at people’s flats drinking lots of wine and getting really good at picking up your glass when you felt a rumble, making a game out of it when you can’t think of any other way to respond to the realisation that the Earth is dangling some kind of anti-gravity sword of Damocles under you, it always had been there, and it still will be there in a million years, and there was no way to escape it. At least I was lucky and only got a little scratch when it swung too close.

So it goes from ‘stupid brain stop dredging up these pointless emotions from ages ago’ to ‘actually it’s not that weird to wonder when the next one’s going to wreck the place’, because, you know, all of that did actually happen.

Recently I’ve been reading a nice book called “What the Buddha Taught” by Walpola Rahula. Here’s a little quotation:

What we call life, as we have so often repeated, is the combination of the Five Aggregates, a combination of physical and mental energies. These are constantly changing; they do not remain the same for two consecutive moments. Every moment they are born and they die. ‘When the Aggregates arise, decay and die, O bhikkhu, every moment you are born, decay and die’

It’s one thing to be aware of the fact that these emotions are messing with you, but that doesn’t always help you deal with them. Everyone knows that the Earth doesn’t have some sort of system where it says ‘yeah, you’ve had enough’. The best I think I can manage right now is to be aware of all of these feelings, and try to have a live and let live relationship with them. I hope the Buddha is right and these ‘mental energies’ can die while I continue. Seems that they haven’t yet though, they just went to sleep for a while.

Anyone want to move to the Moon?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Prod permalink
    July 22, 2013 12:39 pm


  2. July 22, 2013 7:20 pm

    I agree, I’m finding myself trying to just not pay attention to what’s going on in Wellington, I know no-one was killed or injured badly, so now I’m choosing not to get involved in it. It just brings back all those emotions and feelings of loss of control over your present life and your future I had during our Christchurch I don’t wanted to venture back into that dark corner…

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