Part XXXIX - Unmoved
Safety is something that happens between your ears, not something you hold in your hands.
~ Jeff Cooper
For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
~ The Book of Psalms
Monday, January 17, 1994
4:30 am PST
20 miles west-northwest of Los Angeles, 1 mile south-southwest of Northridge
At 4:30 am, January 17, 1994, residents of the greater Los Angeles area were rudely awakened by the strong shaking of the Northridge earthquake. This was the first earthquake to strike directly under an urban area of the United States since 1933. (From: http://www.data.scec.org/chrono_index/northreq.html)
I will not share the description here so you will just have to trust when I say that this event had a major impact on our city, its residents and its freeways and structures.
Rudely awakened? Now that’s an understatement!
I thought it was remarkable that nothing in my residential unit seemed to moved out of place - except me. Oh yes, there was a bottle of nail polish that fell out of the bathroom cabinet into the sink (but did not break). That was it. The neighbors and I were certainly physically and emotionally shaken - or shocked.
I had taped to the wall above my desk for as long as I could remember a card that I received from Unity in Unity Village, Missouri. The card contained a special Prayer of Protection and although I didn’t pay specific attention to it, I was always aware that it was there. I placed it on the wall because I knew that my subconscious mind would absorb it even if I wasn’t focused on it. I just felt secure knowing it was there.
My neighbors seemed to have varying degrees of moderate damage – nothing serious in the building but the usual that would be expected with a quake – items falling from cabinets, off shelves, etc. I was amused at the fact that nothing moved in my apartment.
I must have been in a “center of gravity” or whatever it’s called, I reasoned.
Once everything calmed down and I could think clearly, I was curious and concerned about my office on the 12th floor of the Century City highrise - another area of the city from where I lived at the time. I had laminated plaques on the office walls, some equipment, built in cabinets filled with presentation material and supplies. I called the towers only to find out that the buildings were closed completely and no one was allowed on the premises.
When I had first leased my office in the building years before, I saw an article about the Century Plaza Towers (we called them the Twin Towers, not to be confused with the WTC in New York). These two triangular towers were marketed as the safest place to be in Los Angeles in case of an earthquake. You see, these tall building were constructed on “rollers” so that during a quake they sway with the movement of the quake, but they won’t go down. I had actually been in the suite on the 12th floor during a couple of minor quakes and tembors and let me tell you, that is one eerie feeling - being on an upper floor of one of these highrises and swaying from side to side, in sync with the movement of the quake. I can only imagine what it felt like on the 44th floor. But we knew we were safe.
However, following the Northridge quake, the towers were closed for a couple of days. Finally I called again and was able to reach one of my attorney neighbors in the suite. He told me to bring aspirin and garbage bags. He also mentioned that the entire law library had caved in. Each of our landlord’s executive suites had a complete law library with books from floor to ceiling. The shelves had always “appeared” to be built into the walls. I passed through the library on route to my office but never paid much attention to the library itself. It was just there. However, the back wall of my office was adjacent to the law library. I was told that had someone been in the library at the time of the quake…well, I don’t have to spell it out.
But with my office and the library having adjacent walls, I braced myself to expect anything when I opened my door.
I arrived at the building, and then to the suite. The maintenance (cleaning) staff were on duty in the building and one of my favorite maintenance people was on our floor. He was a Hispanic male with a ready smile who spoke very little English, but somehow during the couple of years he had serviced our floor, I was able to communicate my wishes when needed on occasion (and if course, I kept telling myself that I really should learn Spanish one of these days).
Around the suite, several of my neighbors had arrived and were picking up debris and dealing with varying degrees of damage in their offices. I didn’t want to open my office door. The maintenance worker stood near my door with his master keys. I said and motioned to him to open the door and look. He understood. I wanted to see his reaction when he opened the door before I peeked in myself.
He turned the key in the door and opened it. He looked in then turned and looked at me with a huge smile and said “Ok.” “Ok.” I asked “Ok?” He again said, “Ok.” And I walked forward and into my office.
Nothing in the entire office had moved. I was an organized person and kept my desks free of clutter, but there was a pen on one desk and on the back desk, there was a UPS package that was scheduled for pick up before all of this happened. The package was small and could have easily slid off the desk. The pen could have easily rolled. But here is the amazing part: Nothing…and I mean nothing in my office had moved. Not one thing. Every cabinet door was closed, everything in its place. I didn’t have a lot of stuff except in the cabinets and on the walls. I would have thought cabinet doors would be open.
I also had the same Prayer of Protection taped to the front wall of my office above my front desk. Again, it had been there for as long as I remember.
Well, this time I attempted to reason. Were there TWO centers of gravity – one on this side of town and one on the other? And my home and office just happened to be aligned with each of them? That didn’t seem likely. And what about the destruction of the law library that was so close to my wall. Yet every picture and plaque remained on my wall. Nothing fell.
And then there was one more thing…
A multi million dollar first time event was being planned for three cities – New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. This was the first time in the history of the European Designer Couture Shows that they would be broadcast to the United States via special screenings to private audiences buying tickets in the three cities. My company was responsible for the Los Angeles venue for this event and I secured Royce Hall at UCLA (University of California at Los Angeles). It was one of the most prestigious theatre auditoriums in the city. The clients had flown here and preliminary plans had been drawn up. They paid my company for Royce Hall, I secured it and a substantial profit for myself was built in. UCLA had specific policies with regard to refunds – there were NO refunds for any reason, even in the event of force majeure.
Force majeure (French, which literally means "greater force") is a clause included in contracts to remove liability for natural and unavoidable catastrophes that interrupt the expected course of events, such as an act of God, that restrict participants from fulfilling obligations. So even in the event of force majeure, UCLA provided no refunds of any monies paid. Of course my own contracts would always mirror the terms of the venues I booked.
When was this event scheduled for Los Angeles? It was to occur the week of January 17th. The event was obviously cancelled. Royce Hall and other campus buildings were closed because they sustained extensive damage from the earthquake. Los Angeles was in shock and recovery mode, which certainly didn’t include the latest fashions from the Paris runways! And yet despite the apparent negative aspect, my profit on this event was secure, even though the event was not happening. I assume that the client was likely insured against its losses.
What explanation could be given for both my residence and office to be completely untouched by this high magnitude quake in two different areas of the city and for my financial involvement in the cancelled event to also be completely protected? The only sense I could make of it all was the Prayer of Protection that had been exposed to my consciousness over the years on my wall. To this day, I believe it is one of the most powerful affirmative prayers that exist and a small Unity card is never far away (in fact I have several in my file so that there is always one to give away).
What do you think? Can there be any explanation other than that I had indeed succeeded in instilling in my subconscious mind and claiming in Universal Mind the following...
The light of God surrounds me;
The love of God enfolds me;
The power of God protects me;
The presence of God watches over me.
Wherever I am, God is!
To be continued...
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