Wednesday, February 19, 2014


No matter how much we try to forget it,
this week it is three years since the February 22 earthquakes that changed everything.

The weather reminds us, the flowers in the gardens
and the rhythm of the school year beginning,
in many little ways we can't help but think back to three years ago.

This is the spot where I was driving past that day,
I watched the tower rock back and forwards and prayed it wouldn't fall on us.
I watched the tiles fall off the roof, I felt like I was in that TV program,
destroyed in seconds.

The fence still stand around that church today, three years on,
and the repairs have not yet begun.

I sewed a lot of quilts in the last three years,
I sew all my feelings and fears, my hopes and prayers into quilts.

It's hard to move on, and impossible to forget while there are so many reminders
every where we look of what happened that day and has continued
to happen since.

I've photographed quilts on a lot of what we call "the fences of doom".
These fences are still around these homes,
and they are neither being repaired or demolished yet.

This quilt we hung on the stadium to photograph.
The stadium is still waiting for a decision about what will happen to it.

I'm actually glad I took all these pictures.
I didn't realise how once all the buildings were gone,
it would become impossible to imagine how it was.

These buildings are gone, and the land still lies vacant while
the powers argue about what will happen.

All the buildings in this photo are gone.

These fences are gone, but the land is empty now.

No one has started building here.

This building is gone.

And all of these.

The fences are still around this church, while it waits for decisions.

Grief is a process, healing is a process.
No matter how much we wish, we cannot speed it up.

This week the grief hangs like a rock around our necks,
anchoring us in a moment of time to what happened that day.

And then the anniversary will pass and we will carry on,
working towards our future.


  1. Have been thinking of you this week Deb, I think of you often. Every day at work in fact, every time I type in that fateful day. And I know its so much more than that single day. So much ongoing heartache and trauma.

    Your quilts are nothing short of amazing. I can't believe how many you have made in that time!

    These photos are a part of Christchurch's history.

    Kia kaha my friend xx

  2. Striking!...the quilts, images and your words xxx

  3. Striking!...the quilts, images and your words xxx

  4. Striking!...the quilts, images and your words xxx

  5. Thinking of you all down in Christchurch this week. Your quilts are such a bright spot in each of those photos.

  6. Beautiful post - I can't even begin to imagine what it must be like to go through such an event. The quilts add a sense of hope for the future in your photographs.
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

  7. Ah, Deb, my heart does go out to you and your family and community. I can only imagine. I love how you display the quilts. Shows how we can still find the beauty amongst the ugliness of our world, if we only look hard enough. xo

  8. Even with the buildings that are gone it's amazing just how many fences are still up and how many buildings are still uncertain about their future. I think that's the bit I find the hardest, not knowing if the buildings I love are staying or going.

  9. Off-topic, but someone on freecycle is giving away quilting magazines - wondered if you'd be interested.

  10. Such a beautiful, heartfelt post. My heart is with Christchurch this week, and tomorrow I will be standing with you all xx

  11. Gorgeous post - thinking of you all during this time xx


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