Does your life have a soundtrack?

Most of my readers will know  about the earthquakes we experienced in Christchurch  in 2010 and 2011 as well as the continuing  aftershocks.  The aftershocks are now minor and infrequent, yet the enormous impact of the initial earthquakes lives with us still.  It is inescapable. It is omnipresent.  The mark of the earthquakes is as good as branded upon us, seared into our being and into our land; indelible, ingrained, forever.

Yet our branding mark is no longer as raw and painful as it once was.  There is healing.  Healing which comes through significant milestones, like the recent  opening of  Helmores Lane Bridge; the only surviving 19th century timber bridge in Christchurch.

After 5 months of  earthquake repairs, and restoration work, the bridge is once again open to pedestrians and cyclists, and sheep! http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/business/the-rebuild/83922014/christchurchs-oldest-timber-bridge-reopens-after-1-million-restoration

I didn’t attend the official opening, but the following day I visited the bridge for the simple pleasure of crossing it, and then standing midway to take in one of my favourite views in Christchurch.

This is what I saw. It was not what I heard.

I added a soundtrack to the video to drown out the earthquake reconstruction din which permeates the air almost everywhere in Christchurch.

The true soundtrack of our lives is an impromptu, improvised, unfinished symphony which I call “Earthquaked.” You can hear a bit of it in this next video ( and, happily, some birdsong, too.)

Unfortunately in my attempt to keep my video as short as possible, I edited out most of the noisiest noise. Hopefully, there’s enough left  to give you an idea of “Earthquaked”, within the first 48 seconds; which is the average viewing time on my You Tube channel. 😉

p.s. Readers who are sharp-eyed grammarians will notice  I have not placed an apostrophe in Helmores Lane.  It is my natural inclination to do so, and the media articles, including one by the City Council, on the opening of the bridge certainly use an apostrophe.   BUT it is my understanding that city councils in New Zealand do not  usually use  the apostrophe in street signage, and the New Zealand Geographic Board does not usually do so in place names. There are exceptions, of course. As far as I know Helmores Lane is not one of them. I am happy to be corrected on this apostrophe.

 

© silkannthreades

 

 

 

 

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130 thoughts on “Does your life have a soundtrack?

  1. Playamart - Zeebra Designs

    Last week I made another trip to the earthquake zone and visited with many friends who endured ‘that night.’ Their stories are heart-wrenching. Nine months later, many use their homes in the daytime like before, but they chose to sleep outside in make-shift tents; they chuckle yet their fears are sound ones.

    Reply
  2. LaVagabonde

    Earthquakes take a while to recover from. I was living in LA during the Northridge quake, and I can remember how every little aftershock sent people into a panic. I actually moved out of the city very soon after. I love your method for recovery.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Recovery is a work in progress. 🙂 Now complicated by the US election results. It seems utterly ridiculous that someone like myself who isn’t American and lives so far away should be so bothered. I guess it’s this global world we live in. There’s no escaping anything.

      Reply
  3. lisadorenfest

    I am gladdened to hear that the ‘branding mark is no longer as raw and painful as it once was’ and that ‘There is healing’. Beautiful view from the bridge. Your camera work is very good. Steady as she goes.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I haven’t been very steady lately with the camera, Lisa. Spring hayfever has caught up with me. 🙂 Hopefully it will pass before the all the spring flowers disappear.

      Reply
  4. Wendy L. Macdonald

    You have beautiful parks in your area. The construction sounds remind me of what I can hear in my neighborhood due to the increase of traffic and the building of a new hospital nearby. Our island is subject to earthquakes; I’m not looking forward to experiencing a big one. So far I’ve only felt the furniture shake a bit. My heart goes out to you and your community for all you’ve been through. May the earth behave for both of us. I’ve enjoyed touring your videos this evening; thank you for the respite from our present rain. I’m not complaining though, we needed it. 🙂
    Blessings ~ Wendy

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Some of our construction noise is hospital related, too. The hospital and the medical staff were brilliant during the earthquakes, so I am happy they (and we) are getting wonderful new facilities. Similarly Hagley Park was a lifeline during the earthquakes and in the aftermath. In ordinary times and in extraordinary times both are vital to the well-being of our community. May the earth be steady and the rain continue to bless us. 🙂

      Reply
  5. Alexander Lautsyus

    Unfortunately, New Zealand is part of the Ring of Fire where a large number of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur. You are all the time under the danger of this kind of disaster. Sorry, nothing we can do about that.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Nothing at all, but one good thing about being on the Ring of Fire is that New Zealand is able to generate 13% of its electricity needs from geo-thermal sources. 🙂 There are positives in most situations. 😉

      Reply
  6. Sheryl

    I have no idea about whether or not there should be an apostrophe in Helmores Lane – but I know that I often struggle with how to use apostrophes when a word ends in “s”. Should a second “s” be added? . . . Does it matter whether is single or plural possessive?

    Reply
  7. Playamart - Zeebra Designs

    Last week I returned to Jama for the second (brief) visit since the April earthquake. It’s a small town, so the soundtrack was not too severe. They are slowly finding a new rhythm, though it’s hard – as you well know.

    New owners for the cloud-forest property will arrive in about 8 days, so there’s light at the end of the tunnel! I look forward to catching up – soon!

    Reply
  8. Jane

    Thank you so much for sharing this lovely post, full of hope but also reminding us of the suffering as well. I remember the news bulletins of this event at the time but we see little of what’s been done in the way of restoration on our Australian news so thank you for enlightening me. These kind of events can leave such a mark on our lives. By coincidence, one of my future blog posts about a walk will talk about the music that springs into our minds due to triggers in our lives, and how music, movies and literature are very much entwined with our memories. My walk reminded me how much music is a part of my day, even though it’s just often music played in my head. So your title, “Does your life have a soundtrack?” certainly struck a chord with me. I don’t think I could pick a single one, although I’ve picked out one for my funeral (how morbid I know). It’s the version of “Smile” that is sung by Vada’s mum in the movie, My Girl II. It’s on youtube. It’s not possible to smile all the time and crying can help a person feel better but there is something hopeful about that song which speaks to me. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I am looking forward to your blog post! I quite often burst into little snippets of song when I am out walking; well, not burst exactly as I wouldn’t want to frighten anyone. And I don’t think you are morbid at all for selecting a funeral song. I love your choice. I have a draft funeral plan. I will probably revise it. But ,as of now, I would like Now is the Hour (in Maori and English) as one of my songs.
      I hope it’s not needed for a long while yet, in both our cases. 🙂

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you, Karen. I have to remind myself that even without earthquakes a city is always in a process of growth or decline. Cities are not static; ever. 🙂

      Reply
  9. utesmile

    Those videos are lovely, the Millbrook reserve is just so beautiful. I would so love for you to take me round over the bridge and through the palm and nature. We could always wear headphones to make our own soundtrack while walking….. 🙂

    Reply
  10. violet

    Glad that the beautiful part of city has restored!
    Also nice music but the sound of earthquake … Before listening to that remind me the real sound of that here in Japan too….
    As you know we had a very big earthquake Ana tsunami years ago . Where I live far from the part that had tsunami but we felt 5 richter and for me it was the first time to experience that ….. Never forget the sound of building , trees, …..and even malus vas screaming and lying down, better to say sticked to the floor ….
    Still we have many in month but once you experience big one, will be sensitive, worry even for small earthquakes too😔
    Hope it never happen there , here and everywhere ……
    xxx

    Reply
  11. Born To Organize

    Having lived during the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, one that pales by comparison, I have a glimmer of what you feel every time the earth moves. What devastating quakes, and so close together. I’m happy to see the completion of the bridge. Your videos show the lush beauty of your homeland. I can wait to visit one day. It’s on my list.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      We would love you to visit. Pauline will have so much to show you down south, and I can show you some of the middle. 🙂 And hopefully neither of us will show you an earthquake. You can get those at home!

      Reply
  12. Aquileana

    Beautiful post… I like the idea of soundtracks in our lives… The videos are great too, dear Gallivanta. Thanks so much for sharing!… all my best wishes. Aquileana 🙂

    Reply
  13. Robbie

    so glad to see it looking beatufiul, I was mesmerized by the ripple of water moving in circles in the first video-so calming:-) I could pull up a chair and sit there for hours. Sometimes our nature in the city needs earphones-LOL when you hear all the city noise!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      When the weather is right I could spend hours at Millbrook Reserve watching that water. And, lol, indeed……one of the few times nature gets its own back is when the cicadas come out.

      Reply
  14. Kate Johnston

    Like others, I see the symbolism in the bridge and absolutely love it. I had to laugh at your reply to Britt regarding the theater–we need our entertainment, don’t we, even in distressing times. Makes me think about WWII and how people in the USA depended on going to the movie theaters just to get lost in another time and space.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Sometimes theatre/films make more sense than the reality around us. A lot of people in Christchurch are excited about Bruce Springsteen’s visit in 2017. He will give a concert on the eve of the 6th anniversary of the 2011 earthquake. His song “My City of Ruins” became an unofficial anthem of the early post earthquake days. Music that kept us going when our physical world had collapsed.
      http://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/music/84174926/bruce-springsteen-announces-two-nz-shows

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      For my video I deliberately chose the New Zealand section of the reserve. To the right of where I was standing on the bridge is Hagley Park; you would recognise every tree in there. And under the trees, there are daffodils and bluebells galore at this time of the year.

      Reply
  15. Inese Poga Art plus Life

    Great videos! That’s something I have to learn better. I mean editing. Such a great place. Earthquakes are really destructive with lengthy recovery.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you, Inese. I am sure with your artistic sensibility you could make wonderful videos. The recovery process is indeed lengthy but once the media has covered the initial disaster, we usually hear nothing more. If it weren’t for Lisa, with her updates, I wouldn’t know anything about the recovery efforts in Ecuador, for example. https://playamart.wordpress.com/2016/08/27/esperanza-hope/ I am sending best wishes for your own personal recovery.

      Reply
  16. shoreacres

    The videos are lovely, Ann. I smiled at your comments about the soundtrack that accompanies rebuilding, too. After hurricane Ike, the soundtrack here was hammering. Once the debris had been cleared away, and insurance settlements had been made, the rebuilding that began was primarily housing. From dawn — or even before dawn — to last light, it was like a mad, percussive symphony: thousands of out-of-rhythm hammers accompanied by the occasional whine of a circle saw.

    You’ve reminded me of an amusing fact from my work life. I have to be careful which music I choose to listen to if I’m sanding. Invariably, and without conscious thought, I begin sanding in time with the music. If the pieces are too slow and soothing, I’m not as productive as if I have something a little more upbeat.

    Reply
  17. diannegray

    What a beautiful place, Ann. Those earthquakes must have been terrifying and it takes a long time for the community to heal after such traumatic events. I’m so glad the bridge is back and I agree with Letizia that the bridge represents a lot more than just the structure itself xxxx

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      It does take a long time to recover from natural disasters/traumas. I am thinking about the people who experienced Black Saturday http://theconversation.com/five-years-on-from-black-saturday-most-survivors-are-doing-ok-33600 I wonder if their healing is complete yet. Is healing ever complete? Will these things come back in our old age to make us weep, as the memories of old soldiers make them weep? And, yes, Letizia’s comment is spot on. 🙂

      Reply
  18. Nath @ BEAUTYCALYPSE

    I wouldn’t care for apostrophes – I think you’ve captured beautifully the healing and the fragility of life itself. And, oh serendipity, I had Bowie’s Sound and Vision playing as I opened your post… ❤

    Reply
      1. Nath @ BEAUTYCALYPSE

        I would but I don’t, as we have a serious heat wave over here 😀 Instead, I do feel the need to lay flat on the cool wooden floor and not move!

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Phew, then keep cool. You can chill out with my video. Haha! It was filmed on a cool day. When we were littlies growing up in Fiji we loved to lie on the cool wooden floor. There were no fans and no aircon back then. We had to rely on the design of the house keep us cool. On the whole the houses were very fit for purpose.

        2. Nath @ BEAUTYCALYPSE

          Oh yes, they sure were! We don’t have aircon, we have a complex airing and shading routine that goes with the sun 😉

  19. Leya

    You are very innovative and curious – and using it. I so admire you! And I’m so pleased that a beautiful part of the city is restored – and a part that you treasure very much. ♥

    Reply
  20. Lavinia Ross

    It is good to see the return to a more normal life, and the restoration of beauty. I hope someday the soundtrack of the earthquake will fade for you and your people, and be replaced by birdsong, laughter and sounds of daily living. My heart goes out to all of you who went through this disaster.

    We may be coming up on our own earthquake soundtrack here. Apparently we are overdue for “The Really Big One” out here in the Pacific Northwest. The question appears to not be “if”, but “when”.
    http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/07/20/the-really-big-one

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      There is one project in the Christchurch rebuild which has brought much laughter to the city; the Margaret Mahy playground http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/business/the-rebuild/75357812/Multimillion-dollar-Margaret-Mahy-playground-open-for-fun-in-Christchurch The article “The Really Big One” is terrifying. Do you think you have some degree of preparedness at your place? Christchurch definitely wasn’t prepared for its earthquakes.

      Reply
      1. Lavinia Ross

        Whatever I do won’t be enough for a quake of that scale. The disruption will be be on a scale not ever seen here before. We are east of I-5, up in the Cascade foothills, and probably in the safest place we can be for living in this area. We are in a geologic bowl of sorts at 800 feet, and I do wonder about landslides though. I am working on a disaster plan. Fresh drinking water is critical.

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Indeed, it is hard to be prepared enough. I keep a 3 month supply of meds on hand all the time; try to have cash at hand but there are other things I need to stock up on. Water and a means to cook are very important of course. I am thinking about getting this https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LifeStraw. But keeping a fully stocked and up to date earthquake/disaster kit doesn’t come cheap, so I can’t do everything at once.

  21. Letizia

    It’s so wonderful to hear that the bridge is open again, that the town is healing. And a bridge of all things, so metaphorical. It will be a relief to no longer hear the Earthquaked soundtrack one day and just hear the birds’ song. Is there still a lot of reconstruction to be done?

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Oh, thank you, Letizia, I hadn’t thought about the metaphorical aspect of the bridge. I was too busy looking at the scenery, I guess, or too distracted by the background noise! There is still a lot of reconstruction to be done, including our two cathedrals and a central library.

      Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          I hope so too. At the moment no one seems sure about what will happen. There is much argument and debate over the future of the Anglican cathedral.

  22. restlessjo

    I wouldn’t dream of correcting your grammar, and the background noise is something I would never have given a thought to if you didn’t record it. How distressing in such a peaceful spot. Glad you at least have most of your city back. The previous comment just reminded me that I forgot to go look at the sheep 🙂 Sheep and me aren’t getting along so well since I twisted my ankle up on the Moors this week 🙂 🙂 And what a good steady hand you have for the vids- or a tripod? Sunday smiles!

    Reply
      1. restlessjo

        No, I haven’t written it yet, Ann. 🙂 It’s sore and swollen and I’d like it to be better because I’m going up to Edinburgh to meet Jude on Thursday. Not to worry 🙂

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Then I hope it settles down soon. My greetings to Edinburgh and Jude. I am longing to visit Edinburgh. I may even have some very distant cousins living there. Need to investigate the family tree with a magnifying glass to be sure.

  23. Steve Schwartzman

    Bravo for your bridge.

    From the linked woodcut at the end of Linda’s (shoreacres) most recent post I learned that the Christchurch Art Gallery reopened in December of 2015. I’d been sorry to find it still closed when we visited in February.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Yes, yes, it is open again. That was a milestone event, too. The Art Gallery did a wonderful job with its online presence whilst the physical gallery was closed. The libraries, too, did an incredible job of adapting to very difficult circumstances.

      Reply
  24. Bun Karyudo

    It’s a beautiful place. Incidentally, I remember reading that many city councils around the world don’t use apostrophes in street names because of the problems it can cause when trying to identify locations for emergency vehicles. Often addresses have to be typed into keyboards, for example, or spelled out over the telephone when there is a lot of background noise. Anything that complicates the process, even slightly, is unwelcome.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      It certainly seems easier and simpler to do without the apostrophe in street or place names. One reason the NZ Geographic Board will consider keeping an apostrophe in place is if the apostrophe contributes to the euphony of the name. Euphony reminds me of a NZ song of place names https://youtu.be/MOQvsVZDOyo 😀

      Reply
  25. clarepooley33

    I enjoyed this post very much Ann. Restoration work is noisy and very expensive but worth it in the end if it brings back a little happiness into people’s lives. When we are well and/or contented we can easily edit out any noises that are discordant and jar on our nerves. But when we are even a little unhappy those noises are there in the foreground and get in the way of our well-being. That restoration noise in your city will come to an end eventually – I hope. I loved your videos and your soundtrack music. I also enjoyed the link and the sight of all those people (and sheep) crossing the bridge.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Clare, your comment about expense has reminded me of another project which is almost complete. I must get some photos. It is basically a new build with elements of the old building incorporated into the new one. I love what I have seen so far. And, yes, I do agree that when we are happy/content we are more relaxed about noise. Like the dripping tap…..in the day when you are busy you scarcely notice it…..as soon as you go to bed, and you are alone with your worries, the drip drip drip is intolerable.

      Reply
  26. Clanmother

    I admire your tenacity to learn about videoing. I am glad that there is healing – everything takes time. Memories reside within us and become a part of who we are. A wonderful post about resilience and hope.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      The memories become part of family myth/lore, too. The story goes in our family that my grandmother was in Cathedral Square, Christchurch, when an earthquake toppled the Cathedral spire. It was when she was young but no one now knows how young. We think this was the earthquake of 1901. http://www.quakecentre.co.nz/1880-s-Substantial-Earthquakes-toppled-cathedral-s-spire-testament-__I.3469__N.112
      Maybe one day the family myths will be about my earthquake experience, and everyone will be equally vague about what happened to me, where I was, how old I was etc.
      It’s lovely to think of that continuum of remembered and half remembered which is woven into the fabric of our lives.

      Reply
  27. Tiny

    How wonderful that yet another milestone was achieved in reopening of the bridge! Love that the sheep came back for the occasion. Beautiful videos you have shot too, like a professional videographer.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      It was great the sheep were part of the celebration. Fortunately these ones weren’t on their way to the saleyards. Across the road from the bridge is our central park, Hagley Park. Sheep used to graze there even though it was the central park for the city. This is a lovely photo taken of the park in 1910 http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/photograph/20554/sheep-grazing-in-hagley-park-1910 And thank you for your kind comments on my budding video skills. 🙂

      Reply
  28. Liz

    Beautiful – the images, your added track and your thoughts on our ‘life soundtrack’ – I love that idea and often think along the same lines 🙂

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Ah, what a wonderful YouTube subscriber you are! You would have enjoyed being with us at Millbrook. The weather was cool, the breeze fresh. And Millbrook Reserve has a Dutch connection: a plaque which ” is a true to style copy of the pencil drawing from Tasman’s journal of his first encounter with Māori in Golden Bay.
      This ( the plaque)commemorates the 350th anniversary in 1992 of Abel Tasman’s arrival on New Zealand’s coast. It is dedicated to the people of Canterbury in gratitude for the welcome given to Dutch immigrants making this province their home. The Dutch community also donated 2000 Dutch bulbs, the drinking fountain and the garden seats in the reserve.” http://my.christchurchcitylibraries.com/statues-north-west/

      Reply
  29. Mél@nie

    interesting and impressive, Lady Ann… ❤ the soundtrack of my life may be the silence & the serenity I've felt only in Iceland where I've been 3 times… btw, NZ is still on our bucket list! 🙂
    * * *
    we know that in Christchurch, people live with the sword of Damocles over(above) their heads – like in Iceland, Japan, Taiwan, California…

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      An Iceland soundtrack of silence and serenity would be wonderful. If I could choose one it would probably include the sound of the sea; a tropical sea. From what I have seen of your travels I don’t think you would let even the Sword of Damocles deter you from a desired destination. 😉

      Reply
      1. Mél@nie

        @”I don’t think you would let even the Sword of Damocles deter you from a desired destination.😉” – yep, right, correct, exact… 🙂 I’ve been 5 times in Japan & Taiwan, twice in Hawaii, 4 times in California… my beloved hubby and I fear nothing, in general – BUT we’ve never taken unreasonable risks, as we say in French: il ne faut pas tenter le diable! = do not tempt the devil! 🙂

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Better not to tempt the devil but the truth is we are more likely to be injured falling out of our own bed at home than we are to be injured in an earthquake or a volcanic eruption.

  30. Cynthia Reyes

    This is such a hopeful post. I’m moved by how your first powerful paragraph gives way to the hope and healing of the second. Your writing has depth and power. So uplifting, also, to see the people, pets and sheep crossing the newly restored bridge. And I love your videos, complete with both soundtracks.
    Lovely to read your post. Thank you.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Wasn’t it wonderful to see the people and sheep etc walking across the bridge! Made me smile. And it made me smile just to stand on that bridge again. A small piece of my history and our city’s history salvaged; hooray! Thank you for your lovely comments.

      Reply

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