Sunday, September 04, 2005

Of Time and the River

I can't capture what I've been feeling this week. Despair, anger, grief -- the words aren't adequate.

New Orleans has always had a precarious relationship with the water that surrounds it. That was part of its character -- this precious fragility, this bargain with nature that everyone knew would someday have to be paid for. Maybe that's why the partying was so intense in the Quarter -- eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die. The voodoo spiritualism of the city put us in touch with the next world, because Lord knows we may not last long in this one. Laissez les bon temps roulez, because the bad times will be here soon enough.

And yet, for all its precariousness, it is also a city of deep roots and families that go back generations. What you hold on to is your people and their history. Slave or free, Creole or French, your history keeps you bound to a city that celebrates your traditions in its music, its architecture, its food, and its speech. Because you know that the water will come and take away everything else, but it cannot take your history.

When this is all over, and the incompetence has been exposed and please God the indictments handed down, the people of New Orleans will incorporate their tales of horror and heroism into another chapter of their history.

And the Mississippi will roll on.

3 Comments:

Anonymous ice weasel said...

Dee,

I'm not disagreeing with your summation, there *should* be indictments, and trials, and punishment for what has happened in and around NOLA. But there won't be and I think anyone who thinks is, while thinking logically, fooling themselves.

Anymore than bush will ever be forced to take any responsibility for his acts in the middle east, no one will ever take the fall for what has happened surrounding Katrina, well, other than the numerous and powerless poor who have paid with what little they owned and, though we don't know yet how many, in many cases, their lives.

2:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ice, there you go again with the Bush thing... get off your white horse and join the rest of us peasants down here. Go do something that would benefit society for once.

2:31 AM  
Anonymous ice weasel said...

Wow, you really caught me out there. I, uh, well, I didn't think anyone would notice an utterly irrelevant bush reference.

I am so busted.

And seriously my anonymous friend, you should not post *after* hitting the bong so hard. Post before hitting it. The post often makes much more sense.

1:35 PM  

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