Saturday, June 29, 2013

What is cognitive dissonance??

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 Cognitive dissonance is the conflict that occurs when
you try and hold two conflicting thoughts in your head.


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Today we are supposed to be happy because the last of the Red Zone fences came down
and the Army finally left the city, 859 days after they arrived.

859. Selah.

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It's great, the fences are down, we get our city back,
that's one thought.


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But then there is no city as we knew it,
the familiar has gone, there are buildings still standing
and there are still buildings to go. That's the second thought.

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These two thoughts fight together in your head,
what you know to be true and what you want to be true.

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And then that thing that if this is the city now,
what the hell do we do about it????

This thought is so big and so difficult that it's hard to comprehend.


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Don't even bother trying to tell me how lovely it is going to be when we have a new city,
THAT IS NOT THE POINT,
we had a city, it was lovely and amazing
and now it is gone.


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Hurray the fence is finally gone, we can go into the city!
Damn the city has gone too, what the hell are we going to do now?

This is Cognitive Dissonance.


All the photos by Donna Robertson, 
not a relative (I wish she was, such a cool lady)
used with permission, thank you.

10 comments:

  1. And then that thing that if this is the city now,
    what the hell do we do about it????

    This thought is so big and so difficult that it's hard to comprehend.

    Yes I think that too and these are the kind of things I know Mikee and others are wrestling with every day xx

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  2. I will go in and have a look once our repairs are finished and I can wrap my head around something other than what's going on right here. I think for me seeing and taking photo's is part of my processing.
    As to what happens from here, I hope they let a little magic happen, stuff that isn't necessarily planned to look just right with the big stuff, the things that turn a city into a place to call home. The quirky unexpected buildings, inspiring art (please keep some of the gap fillers, they're cool), and buildings that have lower rents so the small businesses that sell interesting stuff can get back in there and bring it to life again.

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  3. I feel for you and everyone else struggling with cognitive dissonance. I struggled on my last trip back to Chch. http://art-a-musings.blogspot.co.nz/2013/05/dear-christchurch.html
    On another note - I tried to see how to contact Donna, the taker of the fab photos, but couldn't see how to, as wondering if we flatted together at Lincoln about 20 years ago??? She was a librarian, if its the same Donna I'd love to catch up with her. If you'd kindly pass on my details, I'd really appreciate it! S:)

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  4. I have nothing to say because my only understanding of your struggles is through your blog. But I did want you to know I am reading these posts.

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  5. Deb, as I'm reading your post I'm listening to the song "Changes" by Black Sabbath, and it's like they wrote that song for Christchurch, (impossible I know it was written in the 60's, but I feel so sad for you. When I was there in April I kept looking for the familiar and it's not there, it's so surreal I can't imagine how horrible it must be.
    Your writing is amazing and I hope you get comfort from that.
    Take care.

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  6. In the face of what you have suffered and continue to go through on a daily basis, you are amazing. I don't always comment but always read your posts and am inspired. I hope you find away to cope with the turmoil that is an ongoing thing for you and all those living in your city. I was privileged to see it once many years ago and can't even begin to imagine how you guys live with such a loss. I hope that whatever happens to the city of Christchurch in the future, whatever rebuilding and restructuring takes place, it can be a thing of beauty, something that reflects the resilience and character of the people living there.
    Take good care of you and yours. Thinking of you,
    Anne xx

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  7. I can only liken this to my daily struggle at the moment, the ifs and whens and how great things will be, but how hard it will be too! I know that all sounds like mumbo jumbo, but it means alot to me. Thinking of you and your family alot. You all made a huge impression on me when I stayed with you this year.
    Big Hugs xxx

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  8. You ALWAYS manage to say so much of what I want to say but I can't find the words for it. But you capture perfectly the feeling of - the city is back - um what city? The aching loss and the knowledge we should be pleased and we try to be pleased but in reality we have no idea where the hell we are anymore and nothing is the same and the carnage and emptiness are honestly, utterly beyond my ability to process it, or deal with it, so I m living in a bubble. I just take it one day at a time and feel apathetic - no - more disempowered.
    but cognitive dissonance seems to capture my confusion perfectly.

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  9. That is EXACTLY what cognitive dissonance is - and we aren't exactly 'brain-trained' to work through the deflating and confusing feelings that arise from these experiences, are we? Blessings Wx=

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