Thursday, September 9, 2010
An Unexpected Tourist Attraction
When I visited this crazy earthquake-tortured bridge a couple of blocks from my house on Monday, I had to wait my turn to take photos. It was already 'famous' by then - photographed in the early hours of Saturday morning just after the 7.1 earthquake and posted on the Internet. I've cycled over this pedestrian-cycleway hundreds of time and as I look at it now, I still can't quite grasp the enormity of what has happened in Christchurch over the last six days. Maybe we would have been able to grapple with things better if Nature had given us just one earthquake. Nature of course, isn't that straightforward - as has been made patently clear - and six days on the city is still trying to cope with continual after-shocks. Some reports say there have been over 120. Frankly, my nerves are now so frayed I'll believe anything. Yesterday - a little 'after the event' I'll concede - I put a mattress underneath my dining room table. It was to be a safe retreat prompted by yesterday's massive after-shock that seemed almost as bad as the first quake (in my head). I snuggled in for an afternoon nap and felt like a kid in a playhouse, at least until another after-shock came along and wobbled everything from the ground up. As I lay there, writing ridiculous things on the bottom of my solid rimu table, I wondered if anyone would ever get to read them. It was a silly distraction at a time when most of Christchurch is in dire need of 'silly distractions.' I slept through last night's after-shocks and so far today, things seem solid and sturdy again. They're not of course - and may not be for weeks - but I am forcing myself to believe that all will now be well. Clinging to tiny strands of normality will get me and hundreds of thousands of others, through.