Sunday, February 22, 2015

Stones for Christchurch

 February 22 is the 4th anniversary of the big Christchurch earthquake that shattered a city and claimed many lives. After the quake I went to the Auckland beach near my home and made a shrine. I returned over many days to make new ones to post on my blog. You can see one of the posts here, and four others by scrolling back from there to older posts.

I wasn't just making shrines. I was also offering up prayers.

Those who have remained living in Christchurch have been shaken hundreds of times since.
They have had to learn to live with instability.
Solid ground turned to liquid and we learned a new word.
Anyone whose life has been shattered knows what it's like to have your foundations knocked from under you, to have everything that seemed certain and stable to turn to liquefaction.

This has happened in my life, not just once but several times. Maybe it's happened in yours too.
 And so it's important to reach for a new order, to find what can be trusted, to discover another kind of stability.

Today I have made another shrine for Christchurch, invoking faith for a city whose cathedral was broken. The colours for Christchurch are red and black. My shrine has two faces. Which one speaks to you most?

Prayer for Christchurch, four years on

May the stones of faith be reinstalled.
May the heart find its own resilience.
May a new order emerge, stronger than the one before.
May there be healing and holding.

10 comments:

Hotly Spiced said...

It was just such a sad and tragic event. I have a friend who is a 'rescue guy' and he was sent to Christchurch to try and help with the rescue/recovery work. The stories he came back with were harrowing. Such a cruel event that took place in such a stunning city. I do hope the cathedral is sparred and restored - it's such an important landmark for the city xx

Juliet Batten said...

Charlie, that would have brought you close to it all. There is still a lot of debate about restoring the cathedral.

Penny O'Neill said...

I still remember hearing of the earthquake, Juliet, and can only imagine how devastating and frightening it would be. Your shrine if fitting and lovely, as are your words here.

Juliet Batten said...

Penny, I keep hearing from Christchurch friends how much they are still affected. Thank you for your words of appreciation.

Marja said...

Thank you for these beautiful symbols and words for Christchurch.
I think over the the last year people seem to have more difficulty to cope. It is still going on and
a lot of people didn't want to see the documentaries on TV.
We are enjoying the beautiful weather though Today another sunny one

Juliet Batten said...

Marja, I've noticed the same thing. There seems to be a cumulative effect from the earthquakes. It must be so hard for you all. The fine weather is a gift. Thank you.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Juliet - I've had my fair share of ups and downs .. at the moment it seems to be experiencing others - from a distance that makes it difficult.

I love the two ideas for Christchurch and those constant underground shakes - must be quite disconcerting ... I prefer the second one - plain in the circumstances ...

With thoughts to all - Hilary

Juliet Batten said...

Hi Hilary, good to see you, & thanks for letting me know your preference. Plainness is best for you, it seems.

Ruth P said...

A beautiful post Juliet - and resonates more widely as our lives can be deeply shaken in other ways too.
I also hear of the cumulative affect of the earthquakes and the systemic shortcomings that are making people's everyday lives so difficult and painful.
I love both the shrines and can appreciate Hilary's choice. For me, at the moment, I prefer the other one with both the (a) 'plain'ness and the dignity of the elements (from which hopefully Christchurch builds new wellness), and (b) the one with red vividness of hope and pain (and main other meanings) at the 'centre'.
Your prayer is also very beautiful.
With warm thoughts
Ruth

Juliet Batten said...

Ruth, how nice to see you here again. Thank you for your comments. The earthquakes in our lives certainly can have long term effects.