"I got the ways and means, to New Orleans. I'm goin' down by the river where it's warm and green. I'm gonna have a drink and walk around, I got a lot
to think about......"
I love New Orleans. I've always been drawn to it, I've sketched different parts of it from pictures, I read books about it, I see movies that feature it as a main backdrop. But I've never been there and now it's gone. Well, not gone, but slowy floating away. There are stories coming out of bodies floating in the streets, people trapped on roof tops screaming for help, poisonus snakes and fire ants taking over the little high ground there is left. Some parts are under 20 ft. of water, and it's still rising. New Orleans is gone. They're telling the people that left to not come back, that it could be a month before there's any power back on, that there's gas and sewage leaking into the streets. A main water line broke and there is no fresh water. The police need more boats, but can't get to them because of the floods. Road blocks are up so that people can't come back, unless you're an emergency worker. Total devistation, and so much loss in life and homes. It's heartbreaking. I sit here up in MN feeling helpless about a city I love, but have never seen and can do nothing to help. I know there will be drop off sites for clothes and food to get trucked down eventually, and I'll start going through stuff to send. I know Rhiannon will go through her toys and send some, too. She always does. She wanted to send all her Polly Pockets to Thailand after the Tsunami, that's just how she is. Instead we sent a teddy bear with a bunch of others from school.
In the middle of it all, I found something to smile about. The French Quarter is still there. The oldest part, on the highest ground, is still there. Some buildings fell, but as the one guy said, "They were renovating it anyway, it just didn't get done fast enough". He told the reporter this while sipping a drink at the bar across the street. The police went through and announced that anyone found on the streets would be detained. No one cared, they all came out anyway, drinks in hand, looking for other people who had waited it out. One guy stated that it didn't matter if you were catholic, voudon, baptist, whatever...they all prayed and it saved them. A statue of Jesus had two huge trees fall on either side of it and it only broke off a finger. It's still there to give people comfort when they need it most. Is this the kind of thing to make me go back to Christianity? Well, no...I don't think there ever will be. But to me it has nothing to do with what faith, just that so many people there HAD faith and believe it saved them. I can honestly say I would be lost without mine, it's been there for me through so much and always come through. Nothing like this, of course, but enought to understand and be happy for them.
I know things will get cleaned up, be rebuilt, life will move along because it waits for no one. While I am still heartborken about what has happened, a part of me is overjoyed at the fact that right now, in the Quarter, people are celebrating their spirit and survival. Only in New Orleans....