Wednesday 23 February 2011

Thinking of Christchurch

Travelling makes the world bigger and smaller, in different ways.  Bigger because of the wealth of experiences, the colour and interest of the differences between people and places.  Smaller because instead of thinking of places 'over there' (ober dere as The Adorable Nephew would say) through other people's stories and images, I have my own memories to draw on.

When I heard about the earthquake that hit Christchurch yesterday, it got me right in the solar plexus.  A year ago this would have been somewhere 'over there', now it's somewhere I've experienced first-hand.  When I blogged about visiting the city in December, I was struck by its pleasant greenness, its tranquility, its niceness; the quiet strength of a city getting on with rebuilding after a huge earthquake.

Seeing photos of the cathedral in ruins yesterday made me cry.  It's almost impossible to reconcile my memories of it at evensong, serene and beautiful, with the images of the collapsed spire, the rubble on the ground and the stories of people trapped inside.  It was a source of peace and comfort to me on a day when I really needed that - and I can't believe it's gone.

And if I feel like this - what must it be like for people there?

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