Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Morning Glory

So I had this idea last night, as I was trying to drift myself off to sleep, that I should start trying to post in the morning, well before the day has jerked off into the annoyingly usual busy-ness that has come to be the norm more recently. So here I am, dressed, loafers polished, and sitting down for just a moment to jot a few things down before I jump on the train and head for work.

Last weekend was spent in New Orleans--my first trip to the city since the storms. It's true that I visited Baton Rouge in August, but being in the Big Easy itself, I found, is a different thing altogether... Not that you'd know so much disaster was around you if you didn't inquire: the business district and the French Quarter have been pulled back together in large part and live there, on the surface, seems much the same as it ever has been. But for some reason (perhaps because the work I do from 9-5 is so closely linked to what's happening down there) I couldn't stop asking questions of the people I met who live there--and once you ask, there's no going back to the fantasy that all might be well. Because once you ask, they begin to talk, and the stories they tell are not uplifting. They are sad and long and utterly depressing and they make you realize that whatever you may be being fed about the "recovery"of the region, people's lives are still being impacted by the trauma this storm wrought.

It was completely surprising to me, how affected I was by the underlying tension, sadness, and frankly, the smelliness of the town (how had I never noticed before reek of rotting garbage, sewage around every corner downtown?). I'm still struggling a little bit with my discontent, and I'm interested to see how and if my experience of the place will change when we return down there in December after we deliver our gifts to the children of Renaissance Village (more on that later).

In the meanwhile, though, I should also say that the reason I went down there--the wedding of my friends Trina and Chris--was a smash success, and a beautiful reason to be drawn to the city. So nice to see something new and fresh and good spring up in the midst of so much decay.

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