I like to read the daily column by Jane Bowron, a journalist who lives in Christchurch. She and other survivors have made a temporary community, with shelter, food, a hand-dug toilet. And tolerance, she says. The front page of the same newspaper reads 'City of lost souls' in huge print, with individual photos of thirty missing people. To see into their eyes is to see life.
In a small country like New Zealand, no one and nowhere is far away. Everyone I know knows someone in Christchurch. A few hours before the earthquake struck, one friend had purchased air tickets to visit relatives in the city. An artist I know was to give a workshop in a few days. A fellow poet was there three weeks ago for a funeral. And the wedding of a friend's cousin is still going ahead next weekend.
Photo: Four doors in an alleyway, near Suzhou, China
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