Recently I brought a painting from my friend
and fellow Exchange Resident, Liam.
Liam has painted an incredible series of painting of Christchurch.
Liam has painted these paintings in oils and they are raw
and graphic and they make you feel.
He paints our pain without knowing it (he came here post earthquake).
I think for a lot of us our lives are categorised in two halves,
there is the BQ and the AQ. The Before Quake is really a distant
memory now, it seems like a different lifetime.
But it is still hard to explain how it feels to send everyone off to school
and work one day and by lunch time life had changed
FOREVER and we lost our community, our school
and the lives they were in a literal instant.
Now I feel like I live in a different city and a different space.
My life is completely unrecognizable from what it was.
For ages it was just awful driving around the city
because you saw the destruction and decay,
but now (five years later) there is so much rebuild
that it is like we have been transported to a different place.
Our feelings and emotions change with time,
just like the empty sites. The grass and weeds grow over the site
and soften the look. You become used to how it looks.
We have adapted and changed
and possibly even embraced (or learning to) our changed environment
So I'm really really grateful to Liam for selling me this painting.
When I look at it I remember the agony of wondering if my children were alive,
I remember holding my children while they cried
and making plans to keep them safe.
I remember hearing the buildings fall down
and seeing my baby thrown by the force of the aftershocks.
I remember the tiredness and the fear that nature was going to destroy us.
But I can look around and realise that not only did we survive,
we are so strong now. We have come out the other side.
It's amazing. #wecandohardthings