I've been feeling a bit bad lately that I've been loading all this dark earthquake stuff on you guys. And now that I'm back in Christchurch I'm feeling a lot more ... normal. So here is my list of things that are good in the midst of all the crappiness.
1. Having a home. As the facebook page says, you know you're in Christchurch when you are lucky to have a roof over your head, even when you're a millionaire. Also, being home.
2. Recent newsflash - the 22 bodies they expected to find under the rubble of the Cathedral were simply not there! A nice change to the rising-bodycount-stories.
3. This is not Haiti. This is not Libya.
4. There are plenty of ways to help out. The Student Volunteer Army is one of the more famous ways. There's also the 'Farmy Army' which rolled into town with its farm equipment and, with the SVA, got rid of a few hundred thousand tons of silt. There is also the Christchurch Baking Army and Comfort for Christchurch, to whom I dropped off sixty muffins (see below) and a bunch of other things today. You can volunteer for the Red Cross, or at a shelter for displaced people, or you can just drive over to the affected areas and start door-knocking and handing out supplies on your own initiative.
5. In the middle of all of this, people have a sense of humour. See the photo below. Also see Rocky, an uninvited guest to a Redcliffs home.
6. All these things are coming to the surface so visibly in a really moving way: Love, community spirit, humility, friendship, unity, inclusiveness.
7. I have family and friends who are alive and well.
8. I think my eyes have perhaps been opened a little. I will not scoff light-heartedly at material possessions again. They are useful, and the people whose possessions have vanished in the blink of an eye are living hard lives right now. At the same time, I have to recognise how little we have that is permanent, and how unnecessary many things are that I wanted before.
9. I am learning to appreciate people I didn't really value before, or look at them in new ways. Businesses and commerce are important. Many of them have been very kind in the wake of the earthquake. Engineers, the natural enemy of the University of Canterbury arts student, are important and hard-working. Strong muscles are useful, as shown by the video below:
10. Because the cordon around the city is still in place, we are unable to return some DVDs we got out from a central video store. :) Much more time to watch period dramas (Tess of the D'Urbervilles, Rebecca, and Sense and Sensibility) and classic movies (The Great Dictator, The Great Gatsby, and Love in the Afternoon)!
11. I know this is not particularly relevant to quaking, but there is a new issue of Halfway Down the Stairs out, and I really like it. That in itself makes me happier.