Sunday, November 18, 2012

CHRISTCHURCH: TRYING TO MAKE SENSE OF LIVING HERE....

This morning while Annie-Rose and I waited over an hour for our old car
to fail it's warrant of fitness again, we went for a wander around Sydenham.
This shopping district on the main road of Christchurch
just a hop, skip and jump from the {still fenced off} central business district.

I find it impossible to convey here on the blog what its like to have your city
continually being demolished around you.
It's disconcerting to drive somewhere and suddenly to find an empty section
where once there was a building.


Oddly, it's just as strange to see a building pop up completely different
(and often temporary) where your heart tells you there should be something else.

There's still a lot of demolition to go. 
For example, nothing in the world would induce me to let my child
stand by this wall.



There are good things around.
A voluntary project called "Gap Filler"
where folks install interesting and fun things to brighten the gaps.

A giant chess set for example, 
to make up for the loss of the one in the square we are still locked out of.

A lot of wonderful planting has taken place
often in temporary tubs and boxes which really does help I think.
I'm grateful for the greening of the harsh edges.

There's still a lot of hazards for a small person
and you wonder how we are going to bring up teenagers in this city
in the next 10 years. It's a strange city to live in.

I read a saying today which really resonates as you wander about....

“Man can live about forty days without food, 

about three days without water,

 about eight minutes without air...

but only for one second without hope.”


― Hal Lindsey


Sometimes it's ok and you just go about your life
and other times it's a struggle to hold on to the hope.


I really don't want to sound like I'm bleating on and on in this space about it all,
but it's still a reality... the demolition of buildings we love,
the endless endless road and sewer works,
the dislocation of having a city start to rebuild before you got a picture of what was gone.

It's all odd.

19 comments:

  1. You know Deb, I think about you often, and my other friends in Christchurch, and wonder how you do it? I haven't experienced the earthquakes or seen the devastation and I find it so hard to imagine living with it in your faces day after day. please continue to post about it. your posts always convey Hope. You see the beauty and your posts reflect this.
    X

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  3. Good post. It sure is all odd. strange. i do sometimes think its all my boys will remember- the broken and then brand new- rather than our memories of a whole city- with its memories character.

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  4. I absolutely love the flowers that have been planted. They're good for my soul I think. Especially the ones down stanmore street

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  5. Thanks for bringing this back to our consciousness, you remember the earthquake but then time goes on and you get side tracked by life!
    Let's hope that what is rebuilt will feel and become home once more :)

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  6. you are an eloquent voice Deb - don't apologise for putting so beautifully what so many feel xxx

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  7. Pictures speak a thousand words but yet I don't think 'the outside world' really understand what we are going through, we drove through the CBD yesterday so we could go to Ballantynes. It was bizarre seeing so many 'inside out' buildings, that literally have their insides coming out!!

    I love the quote about hope, that truly conveys the city we live in!

    :) Hazel

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  8. Pictures speak a thousand words but yet I don't think 'the outside world' really understand what we are going through, we drove through the CBD yesterday so we could go to Ballantynes. It was bizarre seeing so many 'inside out' buildings, that literally have their insides coming out!!

    I love the quote about hope, that truly conveys the city we live in!

    :) Hazel

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  9. Pictures speak a thousand words but yet I don't think 'the outside world' really understand what we are going through, we drove through the CBD yesterday so we could go to Ballantynes. It was bizarre seeing so many 'inside out' buildings, that literally have their insides coming out!!

    I love the quote about hope, that truly conveys the city we live in!

    :) Hazel

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  10. Because im so sporadically in the city i still feel shocked when i drive in and around. I find i hate traffic lights as it gives me time for the reality of what has been lost sink in. So im the weirdo whos alway crying at traffic lights!

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  11. I have linked this to my blog Deb. You say just what needs to be said and I can't seem to say it!
    Thank you.
    Fi

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  12. Great post. We were driving down Lincoln Rd tonight (three days after we put 4 new tyres on the car because our poor broken roads have munted the old ones) and we passed a lot of new construction. No one would have thought this area was ever going to be prime real estate B4E. But now! There's been a shift - not just geographically - but in the way we're thinking, behaving, reacting. There are times when I get blindsided by a missing building or one that looks as if a bomb went off in it, like the highrise one with its guts spilling out of every floor near Cashel St right now, and it hurts, but then I think about how much more resilient we are, open to new ways of doing things, new options. Just driving to work is often an exercise in strategy, what with streets unexpectedly being cordoned off, and that's good! No autopilot for us. It's keeping us guessing, keeping us aware. Sure, we've got a long, long way to go but I am optimistic. Just look at your stunning pictures...the gaps breed creativity, the flowers bloom in the gravel, and colour and life continues in spite of the damage. We are so lucky.

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  13. You are not bleating on! If it had happened here, I'm sure I would be in total dismay.
    I shall warn my parents about the wobbly walls.
    xx

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  14. Don't stop Deb, it's good for you to put it into words and it's good for everyone to see how long it takes to rebuild. Everything seems to move so fast these days, keep showing us what you're seeing. Thank you.

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  15. My Daughter has just come back from 3 weeks in New Zealand. Her description of Christchurch-'It is a city of cranes' That was her main impression of the CBD. She absolutely loved your country and Moving to New Zealand to live is on the top of her wish list now.

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  16. Oh dear Deb, you have every right to express your deep sadness about your city. It has gone on and on. I am always amazed to see so much not repaired after all this time.

    blessings, jill

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  17. Love love that quote - so true. Keep holding on to hope x

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  18. Such a wonderful post, Deb. I really enjoyed your words and also seeing the neat things that are popping up in the gaps, and murals that are filling the walls. Thank you for giving us a glimpse at what things are like down there - It is so easy for us up here not to think about the continuing effects and a wee reminder every now and then can only do us good.

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  19. Thankyou for sharing your thoughts and pictures Deb - it's lovely to see the progress as you all take one step at a time. x

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