I saw the article in the Christchurch Press about photojournalist Peter Hoffman coming to Christchurch to work on a photojournal about the Canterbury and Christchurch earthquakes and how they affected the people here. Now living in the Chicago region, he’d lived in Christchurch for a little while in 2004, and it beckoned him back, after the quakes.
As a fellow Chicagoan living here, I contacted him via the Press. Noel, Jacqui, Catherine, Suzie, Kerryn and I volunteered to help with the project, which consisted of writing a page of our thoughts in a journal and having our picture taken. Of course, not every image or every story would be shared in such a limited-scope publication as a book.
(Of course, I checked out Peter’s work on-line to see kinda what stuff he does, and, as a person who is artistically-inclined, I found his work amazing. In my opinion, he’s an amazingly talented person, and a friendly, kind one at that, too.)
I’ve kept in sporadic contact with Peter in the time between, and, on 23 February 2013 — a day after the 22 February 2011 quake’s anniversary — I stumbled upon my journal entry on his site.
A year ago today, I wrote this:
Unfortunately, we had our dog Jenah put to sleep a few days later, so I wasn’t quite sure how I would have responded to this assignment had that happened to us before I wrote this. And, a day after her passing, we found out the Prime Minister John Key was going to officially open the school’s new campus in late April, so the entry would have been a really screwed up bunch of schizophrenic emotions by then!
A year on, it’s amazing how much more positive I feel about everything. I was trying to mask the negative emotions and promote the positive ones. I generally try to be a positive person, and I honestly had struggled to know what I was going to write until the blank page stared back at me.
And then, I picked up the pen, looked out the window, turned to the blank page, and wrote the truth of the moment, as a snapshot of me at that time.
If you’d like to check out Peter Hoffman’s professional Web site, you can see it at www.peterghoffman.com or see the project itself at http://peterghoffman.com/2013/index.php/project/chch-nz/