So I tried to write about New Orleans.
About what it was like to see azaleas blooming in March. About the rich muddy waters of the Mississippi, who “ain’t never gave us no trouble,” said one lifelong resident to me, as if the river is a quiet neighbor who keeps the grass cut. About the cabby who recommended a local’s restaurant so far out of the tourist center that it amazed the second cabby who picked me up there. And about the feeling, as tangible as breath, that emanates from the citizens who talk about Katrina– every last one. It took me until the flight home to realize why I felt like it was familiar to me. It is the exact feeling that comes from European family members when they speak of surviving World War Two.
I was nursing a seven month old baby and managing a toddler when Katrina hit in 2005. My sympathies were abstract, my mind elsewhere. My lip service didn’t do it then, and it doesn’t now.
So I gave up on writing about New Orleans. This came out instead.
What came out, you might ask? This.
I think she asks some interesting questions at the end. What are your answers?