I was in the dentist’s chair a little past noon today when everything in the room started swaying. There was no noise — no creaking of walls or windows, no rumbling, no rattling….just everything swaying back and forth slowly like we were aboard a ship. The dentist and her assistant and I looked at each other to confirm that we weren’t crazy. We all stood up and could feel the floor moving. After the major movement passed — it must have lasted 20 or 30 seconds — there were some smaller, shorter movements back and forth….like a rumble, but silent.

A number of the cell phone towers in town stopped working for a while, but there are no reports of damage here in Cuernavaca that I’ve heard. Some government buildings here and in Mexico City have been evacuated because there were substantial aftershocks, and the law says that in such cases, government buildings have to be inspected before they can be reoccupied. We haven’t felt any aftershocks here in my office…we were lucky, I’d say. (Here’s a detailed post about the effect on Mexico City.)

I’ve been through several earthquakes both here and in California, but this is the first time I’ve actually felt one. It’s quite an experience. For some reason a line from from a song keeps running through my head….and no, in ain’t the Jerry Lee Lewis classic referenced in the subject line. Rather, it’s this one from Hello Dolly:

I feel the room swayin’
For the band’s playin’
One of our old favorite songs from way back when…

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The 8-Hour Sleep Myth

March 13, 2012

This is some interesting stuff: The 8-Hour Sleep Myth: How I Learned That Everything I Knew About Sleep Was Wrong. I’ve been thinking that awakening in the middle of the night was a symptom of middle age, as I don’t remember it happening to me until a few years ago. However, once I recognized that it was becoming somewhat common for me back around 2005, I embraced the Rumi quote that says “The morning breeze has secrets to tell. Do not go back to sleep,” and I began using my middle-of-the-night wakefulness to write in my journal, sometimes with startling revelations as a result. It seems the cloudiness of mind at 4 AM can actually be an asset when journaling or pursuing creative endeavors.

Nowadays I attribute my waking up in the middle of the night to roomie, my newly adopted pinche gato named Misifus, who seems to be more nocturnal than dayturnal, and unfortunately is not content to simply scribble quietly in his journal at night as I am. Last night he strolled the house at 3 AM meowing and scratching at the window screens, as if he wanted to get out (which he probably did want, now that I think about it).

Anyway, check out this article. Really, it has nothing to do with cats. Or Rumi.