Wednesday, September 8, 2010


I am trying to work but it is impossible to settle. The phone support networks are kicking in after a series of strong tremors (5.1+)  this morning. There is a need to know that others are safe, to talk through the latest experience, to share the fear. I am aware of almost constant, low-level movement and am uncertain as to whether it is my nerves or a physical reality - I suspect it's both!  

I notice that my reactions have intensified over the past 4-5 days. Now when an aftershock hits, I tense and brace myself. I jump at all sounds - the rubbish trucks outside, the local fire alarm... My body is constantly on alert. Strangely, through what was a comparatively quiet night, I almost missed the rumbling and shaking which has become a part of our daily lives. We have all learnt not to assume that 'the worst' is over.

I was talking with Jai (not yet 5) on the phone early this morning when another shake had him bravely taking shelter yet again under the table.

In a conversation with Denis we talked of our pride in the swift official response to the quake, in the exemplary leadership (politics aside!), in the systems - both official and voluntary - that have swung into action, in the stoicism and pragmatism of a population under stress. But maybe the people most severely affected do not feel this way...?

On a personal level, the messages of support from within New Zealand and overseas, have been absolutely heartwarming. It has been very strange to realise that, with power down here for the first two days following the big quake, friends in the UK and elsewhere knew (and had seen) as much (if not more) of what was going on as we did. I still have not seen anything of the central city damage and I'm feeling a growing need to witness the passing of familiar landmarks - to say goodbye.

This is a very heavy painting which fortunately didn't fall...

No comments:

Post a Comment