Tuesday, January 17, 2012

500 days...

500 Days... 1 quake 3+ every four hours approximately...
yes life has changed, maybe forever.
Early on I decided to photograph my quilts on the fences that surround our city
and our buildings. Here are some of my favourite pictures and some thoughts....

It's hard to send your kids out in the morning,
or go out and leave them not knowing if they will be safe.

It's been good to find that we can cope without water or power
and that a good emergency kit does actually mean you can feed
and care for your family and actually that is what matters.

It's been so sad to see building after building being pulled down
or fenced off. It tears your heart really seeing your city change before your eyes.

It's been so cool to build connections in our community
and know that we are there for each other when we need it.
We've also learned that everyone has a different breaking point
and to respect that and support the person who gets to that stage.

Sleep deprivation has become a constant,
many many nights being woken by aftershocks or stuff falling down.
The other night the frying pan fell off the stove in the night with a terrible clatter
that made us jump, plus the handle broke off and the lid bent.
I wonder if anyone in Christchurch has a full set of china or glasses.

We are learning that stuff is just stuff,
and your serenity does not come from that.

We've become the news over and over,
the ones that people turn on the tv and shake their heads over,
but unless you live through a few hundred aftershocks,
it's pretty hard to get what it feels like.

Other natural disasters are more devastating, for example floods,
but the flood water doesn't come up night after night after night and visit you in your bed,
even though most of our aftershocks are little ones,
you NEVER KNOW which ones will develop to something bigger
because some of them do.

Months pass and you start to feel safe,
and then bang a big one hits again.

So yes, 500 days... I have to say I have never been as frightened 
as the first 7.3. It was unbelievable. I really thought we were all going to die,
and it was so dark and so violent.

I have discovered I was more resilient that I thought.

I have found doing the washing in a baby bath was fine.

A hole in the back garden makes a perfectly fine toilet.

I felt so scared that day I sat on the grass with the Opawa School children
and didn't hear from Chrissy.

I felt so loved on the 23 Feb when there was 50 emails from you!

I've sewed a lot of quilts with squares and blocks
Reuben has made many many duplo houses...
Bede shakes the doll's house over and over and over
we are all trying to make sense of what's around us.

I'm so grateful that Jesus told the story in Luke 13:4
we are not being punished, or more evil than anyone else, life happens.

I've learned to keep the cupboard doors shut
and blu tack under the favourite ornaments.


  1. Love that poem at the end. Especially the bit about faith and love and hope. Together we'll get there. Stay strong.

  2. very moving post Deb, thinking of you x

  3. HI Deb,
    Thank you for this post. You are right, unless you have lived it, one cannot fathom what you are going through. Every now and then my thoughts turn to you and yours and I wonder how you are getting on. I feel really thankful that you have experienced some positive things- like about your 'stuff' being only stuff amidst such uncertainty and fear. I have really LOVED seeing your bright and lovely quilts on fences, that's lovely, and at times, confronting- homeliness and homes destroyed working out how to coexist. I am also pretty thankful that you have your faith and have been able to find comfort and hope it that. Take care. Thank you for reminding me that, once Christchurch is off our news, you are still there, living and being in your home city, working out how to pick up the pieces.

  4. Deb this is fantastic I have been eagerly waiting this post and it is brilliant! It sums up what so many of us are thinking and have learned to make part of normality.

  5. I live in Tornado Alley here in the States and to me NOTHING would be a terrifying as having the very ground beneath me quake. I can not even imagine the courage it takes for each person in Christchurch to even get out of bed and face the aftermath and the possibilities of the new day. You are very strong and resilient people! I think of you often and wonder if the ground has stopped yet.

  6. oh Deb, what a moving & poignant post, certainly makes one think about the things that are really important to us, and that stuff is stuff. You have so many beautiful quilts!

  7. Lovely to find another Christchurch Blogger - very moving post - love the quilts too.
    You capture so well how we are all dealing with this

  8. I think I would have reached my breaking point long ago.
    Great post. xo

  9. What a time you have had. And such beautiful, stunning quilts!

  10. May the strenght that you have shown over th epast 500 days get you through. May your family continue to be safe.


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