Friday, July 1, 2011

Common Themes in Christchurch

Hey friends,

As most of you know, I have had the absolute privilege of a very lively upbringing & life which has included me living in many towns, cities and countries. The difference between myself and most others is that I don't have that rooted, stable place that a person grows up in which, in a way, identifies them. I have discovered in life that most places I go I seem to think I could call it home, not forever, but for a season. There is one city though, that throughout my life, I have most identified with being 'home', where I have that 'it's nice to be back' feeling. Christchurch is just the special place to me, I may not live here now, or maybe never again but somewhere deep inside I guess it will always have that comfortable feeling of being home.

And again, as most of you know, my 'home' has been hit by several large earthquakes over the last 9 months. This week I have returned to Christchurch for the first time in 4 months, and after a few more, quite impacting quakes, I've noticed not only the landscape changing and declining, but the spirit also. I wanted to share some common images of what I've encountered on most streets today, not when the events have first happened, but what it is still like today as I drive and walk through this once was beautiful, but now battered city.

Cracks are everywhere, this is just one of thousands in the roads which make for a bumpy ride.

Portaloos line the streets, for some people they haven't had a toilet or shower since September. Houses just waiting to be demolished or fixed. I think this one needs more than a hammer!

Shops with their entire faces crumbled away....
This office up top has good air flow!

It's completely unfathomable to me that the streets are still in this state, and I'm standing right there and looking at it in disbelief. The thing that is probably the most hard to deal with is that it seems to be continous. The earth settles for a quiet moment, but then again, it rumbles and brings down something else. For the people of Christchurch it is not a matter of the bigger ones that come, but the ones that are felt every single day, the smaller ones, the unreported, but with every new one brings a new hole or crack and even more discomfort.

It's funny because as I've past demo sites I am struck with the question 'What was even there?', and the 'I can't remembers' are frequent. So as the memories of what this city once looked like begin to fade, my hope is that the rebuilding of it is redemptive and strong. That woven in to it's new fabric and shape, is the true colours of the people of this land and nation. I'm hopeful that once again, Christchurch will be called beautiful, because even in it's mess, I still think it is.


  1. C - love your photos, your thoughts on this. Thanks for enlightening us, the photos are shocking. And - great new look for your blog, keep writing!

  2. Thanks TJ. Just saw your post on your time in Angel Fire - lots of love to the whole Wilson family x