Recently I reread my earlier entries and considered my raw responses, following the catastrophic earthquakes in Canterbury and decided I still stand by these pieces.
It is tempting as a writer, who also edits the work, to want to make changes and to worry. Was the writing too emotional, partial, profuse? Was I writing out my distress? Probably. But I also think a writer needs to hold a position and that the style should somehow transmit the flavour of the person, her interests and passions, otherwise why bother to write. I also see these outpourings as the essential work of a life writer, writing in the midst of extraordinary life events, articulating thoughts and feelings, reflecting, remembering and documenting for the records.
One year on from the February 22nd, 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, Deborah reflects on the impact of the quakes and the ongoing aftershocks, in an excerpt from her journal.
Three days from now we will remember the February 22nd earthquake that killed 185 people and destroyed a city. But already the anniversary is on my mind, provoked today by a column in the Sunday paper by a journalist who writes regular pieces of a controversial and inflammatory nature. Invited by the editor to reflect on the anniversary she chose to examine her apathy towards Christchurch, thinking she might be speaking for many but also aware she might ‘not win myself any friends here.’ She blundered on regardless explaining that she hadn’t visited Christchurch since the quakes and that it was ‘not a city I have ever had strong feelings about one way or another.’ She remembered falling in the Avon River when she was five and ‘lusting after the period homes bordering Hagley Park when she was 35.’