Taken at Dallington
This is so good I have reprinted it in full- it is written by Vicki Anderson, who has written some great pieces since Feb 2012, and was published in The Press and on the stuff.co.nz website
After the shock, this is what it means to me to live in Christchurch right now.
It means waking up with uncertainty in my soul each morning.
It means to inwardly wince when my children jump at a car backfiring, mistaking it for an aftershock.
It means watching my 4-year-old son shaking his fist at the ground during an aftershock and cry "stop scaring me" and being powerless to stop his pain.
It means financial hardship and struggle.
It means watching your children lose a layer of innocence.
It means watching those you love battle unemployment.
It means an uncertain future
It means thinking "but I'm not over it" when you hear other people say how over it they are.
It means watching an elderly couple with poor health leave their once proud, now ruined, Avonside home of 40 years, with tears streaming down their faces.
It means getting upset when someone says: "Why don't you just leave?"
It means coming to work and having a colleague show you the photos they took of themselves on their cellphone when they were trapped by fallen concrete. And, when they say: "If things got worse I wanted them to know the body was mine". It means not knowing how to respond without weeping uncontrollably.
It means being described as "brave and resilient" when you feel scared and traumatised.
It means laughing for the wrong reasons at the Novus "show us your crack" TV commercial.
It means endless goodbyes at the airport, watching lifelong friends leave for a new life in another country.
It means watching people you love crack.
It means taking your car to the garage a lot for its munted suspension
It means telling people you live in Christchurch and feel forced to add "but the house I'm in is OK now".
It means getting used to moving house.
It means wherever you go you're usually outnumbered by people wearing fluoro vests.
It means witnessing on a daily basis people's ability for kindness and understanding.
It means being humbled by fellow Cantabrians' inventiveness and spirit.
It means acknowledging, more than ever before, the need to be more patient and understanding with everyone you meet.
It means always checking that the cupboards are full of dry food and the emergency kit is OK.
It means discovering who really cares about you and who just says they do.
It means trying to keep the car full of petrol in case "something" happens.
It means waking each morning knowing that today could be the day another big one hits.
It means thinking every day: 'Today might be the day we have to flee our house; am I prepared?'
It means never parking your car under or close to a big building.It means watching my 12-year-old daughter mature overnight because of her earthquake experience into a caring, wise, young woman.
It means being frightened of simple things like catching a bus or going to a mall, and gradually conquering those fears.
It means only shopping where you feel safe, constantly aware of what is beside you and above you while you do so.
It means entering a building and immediately scoping out somewhere you could shelter if a quake were to hit.
It means always checking your cellphone is fully charged.
It means showering more quickly than you used to with a cellphone within reach. Who wants to be naked if "it" happens again?
It means truly cherishing each moment you have with those you love.
I want those who live elsewhere to understand that we still have the capacity to be happy.
But, yes, some days we feel as broken as the buildings in the CBD.
I want Kiwis around New Zealand and overseas to truly know how deeply we feel their kindness, how thankful we are of ordinary Kiwis who did their best to fill our brokenness with their heartfelt words, hugs, songs, offers of holiday accommodation and fundraising efforts.
I don't want to remember
But I cannot forget that day
I cannot forget the days the earth roared
I cannot stop imagining the pain and suffering of those who lost their lives or who were trapped or injured on February 22
I cannot forget the fear on the faces of my fellow Cantabrians
In the last year I have learned to make peace with the anxiety that walks beside me
But for now it is always there, just under the surface, like the faultlines.
I follow Ali's blog - and I had already read Vicki's article so if Ali can do this, then I can too.
I had the pleasure of meeting Vicki at a concert last year and have followed many of her excellent post quake articles. She sums it all up so perfectly....
Fresh video of the inner city, just for some idea of what is gone, going, staying.
Pretty depressing really. I am trying to see somepositives in the extra space and light the new city might have - if it is rebuilt there.
Because I work on the south east edge of the cordon, I get to see much of it as I drive around the fencelines, but this is still hard to watch. Too many memories.
A beautiful video. I am now lost in memory of all that we had and how much we have lost... so many sights; capturing a way of life, much of it gone, demolished, damaged beyond repair.
Just as we look back at pictures and remember the lives of people we have lost, I appreciated seeing the city this way. The loss is part of our history now. Hiding from the memories doesn't help, but seeing and treasuring some of the parts that will remain might help me deal with the future.
Everyone living near Christchurch has been affected in some degree, and most of us are tired, emotionally, mentally, and physically. Among people I talk with the consensus is that this year is likely to be even harder than last because of the incredible difficulties that individuals and organisations are facing.This week has been harder than usual for us at work, starting a new set of students, and although a week earlier than in 2011, we did all the things we had started to do last year. It is a relief to get through the process without an earthquake... but most of us have had bouts of anxiety, panic, or nightmares to show for it. My dog, Poppy, was up there during the Feb quake, trapped in the stairwell with my colleague. I have gradually been taking her back up to get her used to it again. We noticed she has been quivering and panting a lot at at times and suspected it was earthquake related; a geonet check showed she was indeed reacting to smaller ones, 3.0's, that we weren't even feeling.
I have two pleas for the anniversary day:
1 May everyone be free to choose how they commemorate the earthquake (e.g. not be forced to stay at work if they’d rather not)
2 May everyone outside Christchurch watch the film “When a city falls” which will be shown on TV3. From the programme in the “Listener” it seems they will have the decency to show it without advertisements. It’s hard for people who haven’t experienced it to understand what we’ve been through here and this film tells it honestly.
Someone said to me today that it takes two years to get over a major event such as we have experienced. I asked “When do we start counting those two years? From February? From June? From December?” We continue to experience a seismic event that is unique in recorded human history. We need to take care of ourselves.
many Cantabrians expected an event in Hagley Park similar to the memorial service held previously. A significant number of respondents however supported having local events that allow communities to be together to commemorate, and to look to the future.
The River of Flowers is our collaborative attempt to provide these opportunities for people to commemorate the day in their own way and with their community.
On 22 February 2012 from 8am to 8pm, people will be able to drop a flower in the River and write a message for a Tree of Hope. From 12:30 to 1:30pm, local community groups will host the sites. At 12:51 two minutes silence will be held, followed by the release of red helium-filled biodegradable balloons.
The River of Flowers is an opportunity to:
- come together as a city through a river of flowers
- let go through dropping flowers into the river
- hold two minutes of silence to remember those who have died, been injured, or who have lost their homes
- write notes of hope and post them on a tree of hope
- acknowledge the importance of the river(s) in the life and heritage of the city
- give a token of respect back to the river(s)
- show the connections between communities - particularly those most affected
- celebrate our strength - resilience and supporting one another
Christchurch residents were shaken throughout the night by several aftershocks measuring between magnitude 3.2 and 4.2.
The city has been rattled by five aftershocks since 7pm last night.
The largest, a magnitude 4.3 quake, struck at 11.06pm. It was centred 10 kilometres east of Lyttelton and was 9km deep.
The quake was preceded by a magnitude 4.2 quake in the same location three hours earlier.
Several Twitter users described the first of the five earthquakes as "violent" and "bloody sharp".
A magnitude 4.2 struck in the same area at 12.51am this morning, which was followed by a magnitude 3.2 at 5.18am and a 3.5 at 6.02am.
Christchurch has experienced more than 10,000 earthquakes since 4.35am on September 4, 2010 when a 7.1 earthquake shook the city.