Yesterday we went and hung the eight earthquake quilts I've made in the last two years
on a long fence on Gloucester Street.
There amid all the destruction and demolition they hung for a bit
and brightened the grey, the grimness and the sadness.
Each of these quilts means something to me,
and making them has been therapy indeed.
I've learned that Hope is what keeps you going,
you only need a spark, but you must have some or you can't keep going.
I've learned you need to have a plan,
and you need to have somewhere you can feel safe.
I've learned how to make it as safe as we could,
I've learned what being safe means to a child
and I've kept that smile on my face and in my voice when I was dying inside.
I've learned that you can pick up all the pieces and keep going,
it doesn't matter how small the pieces are, they are all useful and together
they make a whole.
I've learned that buildings are not our life,
that our security is not in our stuff.
I've learned that you can take all the ugly bits
and build something new.
In fact you can make something beautiful.
I've learned that you can bloom where you are planted.
That making do is not the same as making the best of things.
I made this quilt thinking about how good strong foundations are,
but it turned out wonky,
and we discovered with time that strong foundations were not enough either.
I learned that everyone has a breaking point
and to act with grace around those who are struggling.
I've learned that I am stronger than I thought,
and even though I've felt broken,
I've found grace and strength to carry on.
Here's a picture of our Cathedral.
Broken at the heart of our city.
And the fences of doom that still surround it.
Apparently the fences should be gone by mid next year.
Next year?? really!
There will be not much left.
I can't show you what it's like here.
There is bare space everywhere. Buildings like this being torn down and crushed to powder.
The sound of the demolition is relentless.
But over the last two years I have created these eight quilts.
They are a visual reminder of some of the lessons that I have learned.
I want to say thank you to all of you who have sent messages of support
in the last two years. We needed each and every one of them.
I hope we never have to walk this path again.