I’ve actually been feeling “normal” this week. Partially because life is taking small steps towards getting fixed. Mister Two can sleep in his own room again now that the chimney is safely on the ground (the trick now is persuading him to do so). Just today we heard that we no longer need to boil the drinking water. (I’m getting excited about a glass of tap water).
The family is pretty much back to the normal routines of work and school.
Some things still have a way to go. We can’t use our log burner, so are relying on a portable electric heater. I’m not looking forward to this month’s power bill, especially with the cooler weather we’ve had this week.
Work is still operating from the temporary office at the boss’s house. Each day brings its own technical issues, but each day things get a little bit more sorted out. At least with being able to cycle to work I’m not having to deal with the traffic, which still seems to be insane in this part of town.
Some of my workmates have talked about going into the accessible parts of the CBD for a look-see. I've decided I’m not ready for that yet. I think it would bring back too many memories.
Back in the September quake, one of the Canterbury churches to suffer a lot of damage was St John’s in Hororata. This church has a strong link in my own family history – many of my family are buried here. I’d seen the pictures of the damage on TV and the internet at the time, but it wasn’t until we happened to be driving past a month later that it really hit. It felt like a fist punching into my stomach to actually see it in real life, even though I knew what to expect.
I suspect that seeing the CBD will feel like that, only much, much worse. I do not look forward to that feeling.
The Press published this photo a few days ago:
This is pretty much where I was on the day. Just seeing the photo twisted knots in my stomach. I find it hard to believe that I actually got out from that uninjured, especially when so many didn’t.
So as much as I’m feeling “normal” it’s only on the surface. I can go day to day through my routines, but it only takes a picture to re-trigger some of the memories of the feelings.
I don’t know how to conclude this post. The obvious answer is that by continuing to live day by day the memories will start to fade, the feelings will become less intense. But there’s more to it than that. This blog is supposed to be about the deeper stuff. I’m trying to figure out how to incorporate these experiences into the real deeper me. I don’t have any answers – and it might take years before I do. But this is where I am up to today in the process.