"We take it for granted that the earth beneath our feet is solid and stationary. We even talk about people being ‘down to earth’ or having their feet planted firmly on the ground. But suddenly one day we see it isn’t true. The earth, the boulders that are supposed to be solid, all of a sudden turn as mushy as liquid."
Murakami Haruki, "After the Quake", 2000. From the shortale about the 1995 Kanto earthquake.