I don’t quite know what to write about today. I still haven’t wrenched my attention from the ongoing search and recovery efforts in Christchurch. But, my life rolls on as well. Since yesterday afternoon, Petra and I have patted kittens at the local pet shop, handwashed the purple butterfly dress Petra picked out for her 3rd birthday as well as the jersey Nanny knitted her, read a huge stack of books at the library, and visited the library cafe to eat shortbread (Petra) and drink a red concoction called Gran’s Garden Tea (me).
It’s so strange to think that while we’re doing those very ordinary things, people just an hour’s plane ride away are caught up in a disaster.
In Christchurch normal life is suspended. The comforting familiar structure of life in a city – work, school, earning money, spending it, five weekdays, followed by two free days – that’s gone. And the familiar city is gone – the central business district has mostly collapsed, and although power and water are slowly coming back on and supermarkets, doctors, and petrol stations are open, the roads are broken and buckled, many houses are uninhabitable, and parts of the city are buried under a couple of feet of mud and water because of widespread liquefaction.
What do you do when all the certainties of modern life are ripped away and you’re left exposed to the elements? I hope I never have to find out.