A time for heroes

I’ve been reading the Sunday newspapers – hence the morbid tone. They are full of Christchurch stories. 146 confirmed dead more than 200 still missing and virtually no hope for anyone any more. The regular news has focused on the city centre and the cathedral, but the whole city (including suburbs) has been affected. Although few deaths occurred outside the CBD, the devastation and disruption was widespread.

Look at this footage from a suburb in ChCh to understand what I mean. (You might have to endure a 20-second commercial)

Video 1

Video 2

Video 3

Amid all this devastation and ruination what good could possibly come? I am reminded of WH Auden’s poem “Stop all the clocks” which ends:

Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

He was mourning a lover so the sentiments are very appropriate.

Can any good come from this? Well yes. It takes tough times to illustrate the residual good in mankind. Florence Nightingale needed the Anglo-Boer war, Mother Teresa needed Calcutta. This is very controversial stuff, but much has been written about the good that comes out of tragedy. Grandpa Mike from Japan has a friend here in New Zealand (Bill Guy) who has spent time researching the good that came out of the bombing of Nagasaki – where he and Mike met. No one is saying that the good outweighs the bad, it is not a comparison just an observation.

And here is the “good” that has come out of these boulders around the suburbs Sumner and Lyttleton in ChCh. A true, modern-day hero, the likes of which have not been seen since 9/11, or Wolraad Woltemade, or any other folk hero.

Please read the article and pay your respects.





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2 Responses to A time for heroes

  1. Sally says:

    Thanks for reminding us so beautifully of the essentials: the fragility of our life – the nobility of kindness – the necessity of allowing our hearts to break wide open when we witness these things.

    And with Auden: our loves.

    Thanks Stef.

  2. karie says:

    Those rocks tumbling through the houses are incredible- I keep wondering if using brick wouldn’t be better than building your home out of stiff cardboard. I guess rocks like that would cut through bricks like a hot knife through butter as well.

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