Tuesday, February 8, 2011

long time no blog

most of you know why it's been a while since i posted anything here, but for those of you who don't, a few weeks ago now we had a pretty terrifying flood here in brisbane...the flood that 'wasn't supposed to happen' due to our white knight of a dam - wivenhoe - built after the legendary flood of '74. in the weeks and days prior to january 13 a series of tragic weather events began unfolding over the state (and in the weeks since, around the country) which culminated in the brisbane river breaching her banks and many thousands of homes being damaged or destroyed.

the lead-up to the time of the predicted peak was at once full of anxiety and full of absolutely beautiful gestures of friendship and support from all directions. people arrived to help us move the contents of the bottom storey of the house up a level...wonderful wonderful people. others offered refuge if we needed to retreat to higher ground. the phone rang so constantly for days with offers of help and queries from concerned friends all around the world. that part of this whole saga was incredibly precious.

how thankful i felt on the morning of reckoning as i woke to find the water had not reached the peak expected (approaching the bottom of our house) and we were still safe and dry. it was a bittersweet feeling though, knowing that even a couple of doors away houses had been swamped by the floodwaters. and knowing that so many people around the city were waking (if they had slept at all) to a very very different life and an overwhelming sense of shock and loss.

these photos were taken at dawn shortly after the predicted peak time, looking in opposite directions from the threeway junction that our road forms with another at the closest corner. below the water in the first photo you would normally find a street leading down to some sports fields and a park...all under water, along with parts of a few houses and a car - literally water as far as the eye could see from about a quarter of the way down the road. and in the other direction less water, but also a car under and damage to some houses.
(the third photo is available for purchase as a card - and other similar things - as part of a project i'll tell you more about very soon. if you can't wait until then, it can be found here)

i've run out of steam (am still very much recovering from it all) but there's more i want to share when i can about some wonderful things that have been going on amidst all of this. a bit to catch up on...


  1. It really was a dreadful event and it's amazing how much damage the stress alone can do to us. My home is on a hill so was never in danger but i do still feel like I am recovering from the effects of adrenalin due to worry about friends and family. It seems like mother nature has gone mad ... something wretched is happening in every corner of the globe! At least we made it through :)

  2. Good to see you back Kirsten, and that you were able to take the stunning photographs of devastation.
    Look after yourself my friend with the recovery from the terrifying ordeal.
    Love corina

  3. amazing how much it took out of us all, wasn't it lee lee? if you ever want to test just how delicate you really are combining severe chronic illness and pain with a natural disaster seems like a fairly successful way to do it...can't believe how shaken i still am on so many levels by the whole thing.

    good to see you too corina. and yes, photos were part of the silver lining! had a feeling it could be pretty interesting as dawn broke so i wasn't going to miss that moment.

    XXOO to you both

  4. It really was a scary time, I feel like we all carried eachother fear. I still feel sad when I go down to the beach, what lies beneath those gentle waves? With each passing day though the beach becomes just the beach again and the story gets dropped. We are not used to feeling vulnerable, overwhelmed by natures forces, but there it is; we are! I think these photos as usual are beautiful and I hope altogether you clever artists raise lots of money!xo

  5. thanks kate...you're right, it was like we 'carried each others fear' (wherever we were in the world at the time). my body has felt an 'unsafe' place for so long, and until the flood i'd never had my immediate environment also so hostile, unreliable and terrifying. one might just be bearable sometimes...both together, way too much. time, time will heal some of it - but things are forever changed for so many. and i don't think we'll ever look at our rivers in the same way...XXOO


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