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Hearts of L.A. / How the Quake Rocked Our Spirits and Changed Our Lives : 'The earth's shaking is to its benefit. . . .'

January 30, 1994|Jeremy Kagan

We are very much children in our society and encouraged to stay that way in some ways. And children depend on parents to take care of them.

In our relationship with the Earth, we are children thinking of the Earth as a parent that will take care of us. Often it does, because it certainly provides us with food. But at the same time, like any parent, it's got its own needs. And those needs sometimes are antithetical to the child's needs. It's difficult to accept the fact that your parents have things they may want to do that are not to your benefit at all, but to theirs.

The Earth's shaking is to its benefit, but not necessarily to ours. So I think there's a feeling of suddenly being, if not rejected, certainly upset by our parent's behavior and we realize that we, in fact, are dependent children and our parent will not necessarily always be there to take care of us.

That's quite an arresting shock.

CHILDREN'S VOICES

"It was like a train coming through my bedroom. It was shaking. It felt like somebody put the house on a railroad track." TONI ADAMS, AGE 9 CAHUENGA ELEMENTARY, LOS ANGELES

"People are dying and don't have houses and are suffering. I just want all of it to stop." KATHERINE DOIG, AGE 10 DARBY AVENUE ELEMENTARY, NORTHRIDGE

"It felt like a giant was shaking the world." TYLER SAENZ, AGE 7 DARBY AVENUE ELEMENTARY, NORTHRIDGE

"I feel sorry for my mom's china cabinet." MATTHEW SEARS, AGE 7 DARBY AVENUE ELEMENTARY, NORTHRIDGE

"The house was shaking real hard and I was scared. The next night I had to sleep under the table." PAUL TATEL, AGE 8 McKINLEY SCHOOL, SANTA MONICA

"My building was so cracked that we had to sleep in the car for three days. I was sad." MONICA GUTIERREZ, AGE 8 McKINLEY SCHOOL, SANTA MONICA

"I can't stop thinking about the people that lost their homes. Sometimes it makes me cry." JULIE PRUETT, AGE 9 McKINLEY SCHOOL, SANTA MONICA

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