I’m trying to write two posts at once. You see I don’t want to leave this one up for long without following it up. It’d be to depressing.
One post is much happier. It’s not this one.
For those readers who don’t know me, I live in Christchurch, we’ve had 2 destructive quakes in the last 7 months.The 1st quake was kind of fun, it was an adventure, no one died, I took photos.
The 2nd quake stopped being fun the moment people died, some known, others not. They were sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, husbands, wives, relatives, friends, whose sudden absence leaves no small gap.
I’ll take no pictures.
Keep this in mind, this is just my way of dealing with it. I’ll probably regret writing this.
“If the shoe doesn’t fit, don’t wear it”.
With that said there’s some stuff I need to get off my chest.
I get up in the morning, hop into my car & drive from a relatively unaffected side of the city to a side which has been devastated. I leave behind power, water, food, a flushing toilet, supermarkets, smooth roads & malls.
As I drive I pass someone out for an early morning jog, someone walking the dog.
It is still & quite, you wouldn’t know an earthquake had happened.
The roads get bumpier & bumpier as I head over to Brighton, some roads are closed, the signs of an earthquake become evermore apparent. There is no power, no water, no flushing toilet, no open supermarket, the mall is the furthest thing from anyone’s mind. The only people out, are those already queuing in hope of food, water, necessities needed to survive.
They cling to any drop of news, as it deeply affects their lives.
I’m there all day, I help where I can, I listen, I laugh, I drive home caked in a layer of grit & dust, I drive through areas that smell of sewage…
because it is sewage.
I go by people carrying drinking water & boxes of food, whose lives have been turned upside down.
The roads get less bumpy, someone is out for an evening run, someone is painting their fence, someone is in the garden, sprinklers are keeping nice lawns green, cafes are full, people are leaving the malls – there was a good shirt sale on. People watch the news, not out of a necessity of needing information, but more out of entertainment. Playstations are being played, parties are had.
Something about this picture really messes with me.
There is a huge disconnect between those that have & those that have not.
We all live in bubbles.
Some people have been shaken out of theirs. Some seem to be earthquake-proof, floating on an ocean of isolation oblivious to the needs of those around them.
In fairness, the guy out for an evening jog may have been rummaging through bricks in the CBD all day, those having coffee may have been struck by what matters most and are reconnecting with friends or family.
I hold no ill feeling for those who aren’t in a position to help, those grieving, who still have jobs to turn up to, those who’ve been going hard and need a break, take care of yourself, your family, your neighbours, your friends, then if your up for it venture out of your bubble.
It’s the earthquake-proof bubbles I take issue with.
As part of a Civil Defence team in a relatively unaffected area it blew my mind to hear people talking of how devastating the quake had been for them, mail had been interrupted & the TV guide hadn’t arrived yet or “I know the CTV building is down but when will we get those channels back, I’m missing my program”… to those people I feel like saying,
“Pull your head out of the
sandliquefaction, get the F*#@ out of your bubble & pick up a shovel”.
Whether you live in Christchurch or any other city in the world, we all live in bubbles and we all know of areas and people in need, it shouldn’t take an earthquake to shake us out.