I WAS ON MY was to a cafe to meet a fellow writer. That morning, I had not turned the TV on. I’d missed the 10am ABC news, & then also the 10:30am. That was unusual. I dashed out at about 10:45am.
As the 11am news bulletin loomed on the radio in my car, my mobile phone rang. I pulled over & seeing it was a cousin pulled over. We did a quick catch up, & arranged to arrange to meet up.
11:07am I was on the road again. PB waved at me as I drove past the cafe. I quickly found a park. Wondering if the sprawling road works were post flood repairs I hurried up to my friend & shared a hug. I placed my order for peppermint tea & then P asked me if I’d heard re Christchurch?
She quickly filled me in. I thought immediately of a friend who had an adult daughter there and called. She didn’t know anything about the earthquake. I urged her to make contact. (She was safe having left to see Glaciers down south)
An hour later after a hug good-bye I drove to local shops. The car radio was on & I heard an interview with the Mayor of Christchurch. A little shaken at the details I pulled into a car park, and called my son. He filled me in with details & sent me some images.
In the chemist the girls greeted me cheerfully unaware of the events unfolding in New Zealand. The images that appeared on my phone shook me.
I went into the supermarket, wanting chocolate. I don’t eat chocolate. I drink it but I don’t eat it. I steered myself in a different direction, not wanting the migraine that would surely follow such indulgence.
I became aware of vague unsettled feelings. I felt my eyes tear up.
I found myself repeating just get home, go home Jane.
Once home, I flicked on the TV and watched reports from Christchurch. I cried.
I felt increasingly distressed.
Enquires produced the information that relatives I didn’t even know of were all safe.
I kept watching. I cried more.
I felt so unwell, I decided I needed to sleep.
I woke at 4:30 uncertain if it was pm or am. I wasn’t even sure where I was.
I returned to the TV, and watched the extended broadcasts. I cried again.
I wondered if I was sick or in shock. Why I was crying?
Sure, I am a New Zealander, however I have spent more than half of my life here in Australia.. I am also an Australian.
I wondered at the tears.
I watched a couple of other programs; an attempt at distraction, but felt drawn back to the news coverage.
About 11pm I turned it off and went to bed.
I woke before dawn, Wednesday morning & watched the early news broadcasts.
I cried again. I turned it off. I walked away.
I sat & thought about all this.
I reviewed the last few months of my life.
I think I am in disaster-overload, tending towards shock.
I yearn for the simple life, easy days; I am drawn into nostalgia. All the while knowing those days are gone, & will return no more.
Therefore I have decided t not watch tv, today or listen to the radio.
I have planned some fun things for the next week, involving friends, fresh air, physical activities followed by yummy healthy food.
I will especially care for my spirit.
I cannot turn my back on the traumas of the world, New Zealand, Libya, Queensland, family & friends etc. But just for now I need to look away.
If I do not secure my oxygen mask first, what use will I be to anyone I seek to assist.
* I now have a movie evening booked, horse riding, country air, meals with friends, seaside photography time…and at the end of this day of limited media I feel much better.