A Seismic Tuning Fork as an Antenna for Sadalsuud

Sunday, September 19, 2021

In early night, a little over twelve hours ago, I went out to check how Jupiter had “shifted” in the sky relative to the moon’s transit. The sky seemed unusually clear, and I could faintly detect several stars in what I later learned was the constellation Aquarius. One of the stars is named Sadalsuud, and it is about 540 light years from Earth. I gather that its name means “the luckiest of the lucky.”

In looking at some recent photographs before I went to sleep, I noticed a series I took back on September 7th, of a man pruning a palm tree. It occurred to me that the 4.3 earthquake could just as easily have occurred ten days earlier, in the morning, as the man was finishing the second tree and starting to descend. As the palm tree became a kind of seismic tuning fork, I would not have wanted that man’s job. My guess is that he, too, felt the jolt on Friday night, but that it immediately had a different context of alterity that is more commonly felt by those who do the risky tasks in our society. At least for once, luck was with him, as a gift in advance from Sadalsuud.

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