Man was made for Joy & Woe,
And when this we rightly know,
Thro’ the world we safely go.
Joy and Woe are woven fine,
A clothing for the Soul divine;
Under every grief and pine
Runs a joy with silken twine.
I don’t like to dwell in Woe. I prefer to seek the silken run in the cloth; the run of Joy . But, sometimes, the woe is like a shroud over one’s face and it’s hard to see through it; hard not to feel overwhelmed.
Our cheer-leading public service campaign, All Right?, says that, as we approach the third anniversary of the earthquake of 2011, it’s all right to feel overwhelmed some days.
So I was, yesterday. Very. I am not alone in my whelmedness.
The experts are worried by our numbers: ‘The initial trauma may be over but experts say earthquake-weary Christchurch residents will endure at least six years of “man-made” stressors as the region battles bureaucracy.’ (http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11197956 ) The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority has even produced a draft document on its psychosocial plan for the city. It “says anxiety and stress will continue to dog the population due to ongoing battles with insurance, land issues, changes to schooling and problems rebuilding homes and businesses.”
So, three years on……my house is repaired, but my insurance claim for the external areas of my property has yet to be settled. I contacted my insurance company, AGAIN, 10 days ago, and, although they have not once forgotten, in the past 3 years, to send out an invoice for my steadily increasing insurance premiums, they admitted that they had forgotten about my outstanding claim. I was assured that the matter would be resolved, speedily.
Ho-hum, twiddle my thumbs, nothing has happened yet. What’s another 10 days added to 3 years, especially when my claim is minor compared to those of some other claimants. And getting the financial settlement is but the first step in the process. Finding someone to do the repair work will be extraordinarily difficult. I could be waiting another 3 or 4 years for that to be done.
Is it important? Does it matter? Not really, in the overall scheme of life, but it’s all so unavoidably in your face; an ever-present reminder of altered states; altered dreams.
I live in one of Christchurch’s least badly damaged suburbs, yet these photos are all taken within a two-minute walking distance of my home. They represent only a sample of what I see on a daily basis in my immediate neighbourhood.
Take a look….
Homes, untouched, untended, and unoccupied, since February 2011 and being slowly overwhelmed by nature.
and properties exposed to man-made post earthquake stress disorder.
There are some small signs of progress, of normalcy.
Homes are being repaired,
and some have been repaired.
But there remain many abnormalities, some of which are intriguing and require us to restructure our thought processes to new levels,
and give us something upon which to ponder (with a giggle and a smile ),
as well as a precious moment, to be still, to refocus on holding fast to the silken twine of joy,
the Heaven in a Wild Flower.
Hold fast…that’s as much as I can do for now. None of this excitement business…All Right?
Not yet 🙂