Tuesday, March 15, 2011

An unobstructed view of the rising moon

Now that my house has burned to the ground

I have an unobstructed view of the rising moon.

This is one of my favourite poems and i read it without sentiment, as written by someone who has learned not to privilege one psychological state over another, as a statement of fact. It is not 'postive thinking'.

Ah, Linwood, my neighbourhood. i came home once complaining that i could buy drugs in three locations within a ten mminute walk, but i could not buy a tomato. (Er, yeah, i was wanting to buy a tomato!)

Motto of Linwood: 87% of residents prefer it to prison.

Alternative motto of Linwood: You're never bored in Linwood (voiceover accompanied by background sounds of screaming and breaking glass).

Here i tell stories of my neighbourhood, with photos all taken within a 15 minute walk.

The photo above is of a house unusual for the neighbourhood. It is larger than most and reminds me of an English farmhouse. Handwritten on the boarded up front is the legend 'We will try to save this house'.

Above, is an an old malt house which for a long time has been a boxing and martial arts gym. i was a bit late for the photo - if i had got there earlier i would have photographed some fine can
navbis plants growing out of the ceiling, a charming splash of green in a devastated landscape. i like how places have been turned inside out now. Here you can see a sign 'gladiators' and a poster of a handsome boxer flaps in the breeze.

This house on Woodham road has become a photographic favourite. The design is similar to my own house, for added poignancy. It was geiven a green sticker after the earthquake of 4 September, and a red one this time around. The stickers sit together on the door, the whole four months expressed in two bits of paper.

The new age metaphysical shop used to be here...

Then they moved it across the road. USAR staff were visiting at the time this photo was taken and the digger moved in later that day.

Nat, who ran the fish shop, was killed in the earthquake, along with a customer. The owner of the gunshop sat with his shop and refused to be removed by police. He did not want his stock left unattended. The army came and removed it, lock stock and barrel so to speak, in their LAV. The owner of the pizza place went survivalist, living in the wrecked yard with the pizza oven, a baseball bat and a police cellphone number. He saved what was left of his possessions and alerted the police to looters. Kind people fed him. The chemist relocated, taking with it the small army of methadone customers who used to line up at opening time each day. These are such local people, local stories.

This was the earliest Anglican church in Christchurch, the Church of the Most Holy Trinity. It sat among rose gardens and a traditional cemetery. It did well in the 4 September quake but 22 February did for it. Now it too is inside out. You can see the fine wood work, and glimpse the blues and reds of the beautiful stained glass windows. i liked the sturdy green ecclesiastical looking door that now leads nowhere. The ground is really chopped up around it and the car park is a mess of liquefaction. But the grass is green and the roses bend with sweet grace in the wind, and if anything it feels more peaceful and sacred now.

i have one more story, without illlustration. One of the USAR sniffer dogs was given the job of searching for survivors in a building containing a well known bakery. He did his usual fine job, and when he finished he was left on his lead for a while on his own. When his people returned, they found he had chewed through his lead. He had gone missing. They found him soon enough, however, crawling shamefacedly out of the bakery. He had eaten all the food!

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