We had a 6.5 earthquake up here on the North Coast of California. It’s probably been 10 years since I’ve experienced a quake of that magnitude, and I have experienced larger ones. They are a scary and fascinating at the same time. Other areas of the county had more damage than where I live, but I was without electricity for about four hours. God bless those folks who work for the power company, and thank goodness it wasn’t raining last night. I’m sure it made life easier for them as they made repairs.
As soon as I realized I was in no danger, I got out my sharpie and sketchpad and started doodling. What else is there to do? What people say about doodling being a calmative is true. I worked on my drawing until it got too dark to see, and then I decided (since I have electric cooking) to see if anywhere with food was open. I took my sketchpad with me. The restaurant was hoppin’ and I doodled away while waiting for my food. I had a very nice chat with another woman sitting at the counter next to me who was worried about her nesting finches, and shared a good laugh with her imagining what they might have thought.
I came home after eating a pretty good chicken salad, lit a couple of candles, and finished my drawing. I’d never drawn to candlelight before. It was an interesting, almost eerie experience, as the light flickered against the page. My hand knew almost instinctively where to go.
About the time I decided to go to sleep, the power was restored. I finished my drawing, only adding the shading.
After an Earthquake © Sue O’Kieffe 2010
What I learned from this is that doodling really IS an excellent way to stay in the present, when really there is nothing left to do.