September 4, 2010. It was as still and blue, and idyllic as this weekend - bar the 30 seconds at 4.35am. It feels like the lead up to today's one year anniversary of our new seismic lives has brought with it a watershed of honesty, and the emmergence of our own voices on the past year. Maybe its like describing an overseas trip (well this happens for me) - that its only after enough distance, space, sleep or time from it that you 'see' the experience for what it is, and can start retelling the stories, and know what you really think. This post I read yesterday expresses the sentiment that appears to be emmerging for some perfectly. The balance between bravado, optimism, reality and sheer depression and frustration is a juggling act every day - with everyone, (I don't think anyone has escaped it) trying to find the new 'normal'. I still get excited as to where the new 'normal' may lie in the end for Christchurch. Whilst it has been a crap year for many - a solid dose of abnormality for the city in my mind still could be a good thing and an opportunity. But it has come at a cost for many.
Sumner on Saturday morning...the Alps were popping...Shag rock still 'new', and I couldn't believe how many strangers I stopped and took the time to chat with. Is this the new normal?
The 'forgotten' suburb's containers and house wrecks were never really out of view... and unfortunately, whilst they are still shocking 6 months on, it kind of normal to see this stuff.
And back in the city - The current 'normal: we are now gathering in Geo Domes in Hagley Park for culture and community (they are indestructable) and quite beautiful..albeit cold when below!
Yesterday - Al and I took a bike ride around the Red Zone to the Canterbury Cheesemonger - for his exquisite bread, eccles cakes and cheese for afternoon tea. His offering is far from 'normal' - absolutely everything in his shop is made with so much love and integrity. We are so lucky he's up and running.
And this other Christchurch treasure has now relocated into Victoria Street. Wow - it truly is the best retail experience ever. We popped in for 5 minutes - and left after an hour, bottle in hand and stories filed away.
Digby this morning - at Waimari Beach, Pegasus Bay. Another beautiful day.
A year on - I don't miss too many things that we have lost. But I was one of the lucky ones - with loved ones and my house in tact. I mostly miss just bumping into our community as we used to know it. Hanging out on High Street, having a gauranteed good coffee and service at my two favourite cafes. The year of shuffling has dispersed us all to suburbs and places we never knew, and I guess we are in the process of developing new communities which is pretty cool. As I write this - we just had a good old shake! Digby is up, pacing, trying to stabalise. Light shades swaying. Kind of normal now....What a year!